Bridge, Frank

Frank Bridge (26 February 1879 – 10 January 1941) was an English composer and viola performer. He was among the most famous musicians, particularly renowned for his music and chamber songs. Although he wrote in many genres, his smaller styles, including Phantasie Quartet (1910), four string quartets, and piano and vocals, were incredibly successful. His early works were romantic in class, and later, he moved toward atonality. The earliest existing works are a series of large chamber works written during his studies at the Royal College of Music with C.V. Stanford and several minor works in various genres. Bridge's first big orchestral piece, a Symphonic Poem, was composed immediately after finishing his studies. Influences on this period include Brahms, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Franck, and Fauré. The turbulent First String Quartet and a series of Phantasies for chamber ensembles imply a search for a more mature and expressive vocabulary in the works written in the following years. Nevertheless, his orchestral style grew throughout time, reaching a pinnacle in 1911 with The Sea, which would become his most popular and successful orchestral composition, enjoying numerous performances at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts during his lifetime.

Bridge shows an interest in more modernist tendencies in the years leading up to the First World War, most notably in the Dance Poem of 1913, implying the influence of Stravinsky and Debussy. During the war years, his explorations were generally more moderate – most often pastoralism influenced by impressionism – through works like the Two Poems for Orchestra and several piano pieces show significant changes in his harmonic language, particularly towards a coloristic, non-functional use of harmony and a preference for harmony derived from symmetrical scales like the. During this time, Bridge finished two of his most famous chamber works, the Second String Quartet and the Cello Sonata. Bridge's idiom tends toward moderation in his wartime works, but his language evolved dramatically after the war, expanding on the wartime piano and symphonic music's experimentation with impressionist harmony. In addition, Bridge's technical ambitions drove him to create larger, more complicated compositions with more advanced harmonic elements and motivic functioning. Several of the compositions that resulted had expressive ties to the First World War, which appears to have inspired the tone of the Piano Sonata and, without a doubt, Oration. However, as Huss has pointed out, identifying the war as the fundamental stimulus for forming a modernist language is not advisable. Bridge continued his desire to write more serious, substantive pieces during the 1920s. On a large scale, the Piano Sonata was the first significant work to exhibit his mature, post-tonal language. The Third String Quartet develops and employs this vocabulary more successfully, sparking a sequence of important symphonic and chamber pieces, several of which rate among Bridge's best. The Fourth String Quartet, the Phantasm for piano and orchestra, Oration for cello and orchestra, the Rebus Overture, and the first movement of a planned Symphony for strings were among the works composed in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Even though he was not an organist or personally engaged with English Church music, his small organ pieces are among the most often performed of all his works. The Bridge was irritated that his later works were often overlooked while his older "Edwardian" works remained popular.

Violin Compositions of Frank Bridge | Animato Strings


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