Frank Bridge


Born: February 26, 1879; Brighton, England   Died: January 10, 1941; Eastbourne, London, England  
Frank Bridge studied violin and composition at the Royal College of Music, graduating in 1904. A scholarship enabled him to study with Charles Villiers Stanford for four years (1899-1903). Bridge quickly established a reputation as a gifted violist and conductor. In 1906, he played with the Joachim Quartet, and he was a member of the English String Quartet through 1915. He conducted some operas at the Savoy Theatre and Covent Garden, and when Sir Read more Thomas Beecham organized his New Symphony Orchestra in 1906, he named Bridge as his assistant. Bridge also befriended Sir Henry Wood and occasionally substituted for him as conductor at Queen's Hall; Wood later became an important champion of Bridge's music. During this period, Bridge was writing mostly chamber music and songs. His few orchestral works of the time were much influenced by the French Impressionists; the first of them to become part of the standard repertoire was the suite The Sea (1911).

World War I was a traumatic time for Bridge, an ardent pacifist. One can hear more dissonance and darkness creeping into such works as the Cello Sonata in D minor (1913-1917) and the Quartet No. 2 in G minor (1915). After several years of near-silence, Bridge's next big work signaled a large shift in style. The Piano Sonata (1921-1924) was written in memory of composer Ernest Farrar, who was killed in action in France, in 1917. In it, one hears considerably more dissonance, abrupt changes of mood and tempo, and a more angular and aggressive sound. This stylistic evolution continued in works like the third (1926) and fourth (1937) string quartets, which flirt with Schoenberg-like atonality.

In his last two decades, Bridge composed, occasionally conducted, and did some traveling, including trips to the United States in 1923, 1934, and 1938. He also did some private teaching. Certainly his best-known pupil was Benjamin Britten, who was an 11-year-old prodigy when Bridge met him in 1924. Britten retained a great affection for his teacher, and paid tribute to him in the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (1937), based on the second of the latter's Three Idylls for String Quartet (1906). Britten was also partly responsible for the subsequent interest in Bridge's music.

Among Bridge's later compositions were a lovely opera, The Christmas Rose (begun 1919, set aside for years and completed only in 1930), as well as several important chamber and orchestral works. His last completed composition was the Rebus Overture (1940); he also left a symphony for strings unfinished at his death. Read less
Bridge: Phantasy Piano Quartet; Cello Sonata; Violin Sonata / Nash Ensemble
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68003   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 201-211 of 211 Available Recordings
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  • 201.
    Finzi, Parry, Bridge - An English Suite / Boughton
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5366 Release Date: 11/04/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Gerald Finzi
    Performer:  Martin Jones
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra
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  • 202.
    Bratsche! - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bridge /Schotten, Et Al
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 638 Release Date: 06/25/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Yizhak Schotten,  Paul Silverthorne,  Katherine Collier,  Peter Rejto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ann Arbor Sinfonietta
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  • 203.
    The Spirit Of England / William Boughton, English So, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5210 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Benjamin Britten,  Peter Warlock  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Partington,  Robert Johnston,  Sylvia Knussen,  James Davis  ... 
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra,  English Symphony Orchestra
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  • 204.
    Britten: 4 Sea Interludes, Etc;  Bridge, Bax / Handley
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8473 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Frank Bridge,  Arnold Bax
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ulster Orchestra
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  • 205.
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6538 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Benjamin Britten,  Jean Sibelius,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Conductor:  Bryden Thomson,  Vernon Handley,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  George Hurst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ulster Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 206.
    Ireland, Bridge: Suites, Etc / Garforth, English Co
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8390 Release Date: 09/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  John Ireland
    Conductor:  David Garforth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 207.
    Love Songs / Arleen Auger, Dalton Baldwin
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3029 Release Date: 05/22/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando J. Obradors,  Jaime Ovalle,  Frederick Loewe,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Dalton Baldwin
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  • 208.
    Classics - The Willis Organ At Salisbury Cathedral / Murray
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80255 Release Date: 10/10/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Jackson,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Marcel Dupré,  Louis Vierne  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Murray
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  • 209.
    Bridge: Piano Trio No 2, Cello Sonata, Spring Song
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9610 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Hiroko Yajima,  Stephen Prutsman,  Lowri Blake,  Caroline Palmer
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  • 210.
    Bridge: Suite For String Orchestra; Delius: Sonata For String Orchestra / Braithwaite
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7139 Release Date: 08/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Frederick Delius
    Conductor:  Nicholas Braithwaite
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
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  • 211.
    Capital City / Band Of The Honourable Artillery Company
    Label: Bandleader   Catalog: 5170 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Horovitz,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Kenneth Alford,  Winson  ... 
    Conductor:  Stuart A. Watts
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Honourable Artillery Company Band
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