Frank Bridge

Biography

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: String Quartets No 1 & 3 / Maggini Quartet
Release Date: 10/21/2003   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557133   Number of Discs: 1
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Bridge: The Sea, Enter Spring, Summer / Judd, Et Al
Release Date: 08/17/2004   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557167   Number of Discs: 1
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The Passion Of Bliss, Bowen And Bridge / Lederer, Et Al
Release Date: 01/25/2005   Label: Centaur Records  
Catalog: 2692   Number of Discs: 1
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Bridge: String Quartets No 2 & 4 / Maggini Quartet
Release Date: 03/22/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557283   Number of Discs: 1
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Bridge: Piano Sonata, Pensées Fugitives, Etc / Ashley Wass
Release Date: 05/29/2007   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557921   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 26-50 of 145 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Heritage   Catalog: 224 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Ford,  Philip Rosseter,  John Dowland,  Thomas Morley  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  Benjamin Britten
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  • 27.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete Decca Recordings [14 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001654200 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Zoe Vlachopoulos,  Ann Ayars,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry,  Reginald Jacques,  Boyd Neel,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Southern Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bach Choir  ... 
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  • 28.
    Mstislav Rostropovich - The Complete Decca Recordings  [5-CDs]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001649502 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Frank Bridge,  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Benjamin Britten,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 29.
    Bosmans, Bridge: Music For Cello And Piano / Mayke Rademaker, Matthijs Verschoor
    Label: Quintone   Catalog: 7002 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Henriëtte Bosmans
    Performer:  Mayke Rademaker,  Matthijs Verschoor
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  • 30.
    Hamlet Echoes /  Doufexis,  Sachse, Heide
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553234 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Martin Loeffler,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Christian Jost  ... 
    Performer:  Stella Doufexis,  Pauline Sachse,  Daniel Heide
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  • 31.
    My Own Country / Lott, Johnson
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 24 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Hubert Parry,  John Ireland,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Lott,  Graham Johnson
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  • 32.
    The London String Quartet: 1917-1951 Recordings
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1253 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London String Quartet
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  • 33.
    English Love - Songs Of Passion, Pain & Pleasure / Mark Stone
    Label: Stone Records   Catalog: 80000 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Barlow,  Frank Bridge,  Benjamin Britten,  George Butterworth  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Stone,  Stephen Barlow
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  • 34.
    Music By Bax, Bridge & Serle / Adamson
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3060 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Humphrey Searle,  Frank Bridge,  Arnold Bax
    Performer:  Philip Adamson
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  • 35.
    Art Songs Of The British Romantics / Wilson, Halliday
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1377 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Roger Quilter,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Stanley Wilson,  Malcolm Halliday
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  • 36.
    A Lesson In Love / Kate Royal, Malcolm Martineau
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48536 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Bolcom,  Robert Schumann,  Hugo Wolf,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Kate Royal,  Malcolm Martineau
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  • 37.
    Echoes Of Nightingales / Christine Brewer, Roger Vignoles
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67813 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sidney Homer,  Edwin McArthur,  Arthur Walter Kramer,  Mildred Lund Tyson  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Brewer,  Roger Vignoles
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  • 38.
    English Organ Music From The Temple Church / James Vivian
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 223 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Whitlock,  Henry Walford Davies,  John Stanley,  Samuel Sebastian Wesley  ... 
    Performer:  James Vivian
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  • 39.
    An Irish Songbook / Ailish Tynan, Iain Burnside
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 239 Release Date: 01/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Dunhill,  Samuel Barber,  Frank Bridge,  Edmund Pendleton  ... 
    Performer:  Ailish Tynan,  Iain Burnside
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  • 40.
    Bax, Bridge: Piano Quintets / Ashley Wass, Tippett Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572474 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Frank Bridge
    Conductor:  Ashley Wass
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tippett String Quartet
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  • 41.
    Christopher Langdown - Live In London
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 21218 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Moritz Moszkowski,  Claude Debussy,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frank Bridge  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Langdown
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  • 42.
    Bridge, Bax, Britten: Cello Sonatas / Moser, Rivinius
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 93257 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Benjamin Britten,  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Johannes Moser,  Paul Rivinius
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  • 43.
    Kathleen Ferrier Edition Vol 6 - Purcell, Handel, Bach, Wolf, Folksongs
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 433473 Release Date: 03/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Adolf Jensen,  Hugo Wolf,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Millicent Silver,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Phyllis Spurr,  Frederick Stone  ... 
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  • 44.
    English Piano Sonatas / Binns
    Label: British Music Society   Catalog: 434 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  John Ireland,  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Malcolm Binns
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  • 45.
    The English Viola - Bliss, Delius, Bridge / Magyar, Imai
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572407 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Frederick Delius,  Sir Arthur Bliss
    Performer:  Tadashi Imai,  Eniko Magyar
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  • 46.
    Within A Dream - A Celebration Of The Artistry Of Richard Hickox
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10568 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  James Gilchrist,  Pamela Helen Stephen,  Roderick Williams,  Bruce Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  City of London Sinfonia,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    Bridge: Enter Spring, Summer, Christmas Dance / Marriner, Britten
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470189 Release Date: 10/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Benjamin Britten,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Frederick Stone,  Kathleen Ferrier
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 48.
    Britten At Aldeburgh - Shostakovich, Janacek, Bridge
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466823 Release Date: 10/02/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Benjamin Britten,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Emanuel Hurwitz,  Galina Vishnevskaya  ... 
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  • 49.
    Bridge: Music For String Quartet / Delme String Quartet
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8426 Release Date: 09/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Delmé String Quartet
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  • 50.
    Chamber Music By Frank Bridge
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 87 Release Date: 08/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge
    Performer:  Catharine Schofield,  Colin Twigg,  Michael Schofield,  Michael Dussek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bridge String Quartet
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