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CHAN 10246
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CHAN 10246
Orchestral Works, Vol.5

Bridge: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2004

Originally recorded in 2003

Artists:

BBC National Orchestra of Wales


Richard Hickox


Roderick Williams

baritone*

Venue:

Brangwyn Hall, Swansea



Producer:

Brian Couzens



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Michael Common

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos




Total Time - 67:09
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Orchestral Works, Vol.5

 

FRANK BRIDGE

(1879-1941)
Select Complete Single Disc for
   
  Orchestral Works, Volume 5  
   
 

Suite for Strings, H 93 (1909-10)

21:05  
1 I Prelude. Moderato - Un pochettino maestoso - Allegro ma non troppo - 7:35
2 II Intermezzo. Allegretto grazioso 3:31
3 III Nocturne. Adagio molto - Un pochettino animato - 6:11
4 IV Finale. Allegro vivo - Poco meno mosso - Tempo I 3:47
   
premiere recording
5 

The Hag, H 14 (1902)*

2:28
  Song for Baritone and Orchestra  
  Allegro molto  
   
premiere recording
 

Two Songs of Robert Bridges (1905-06)*

6:37  
  for Baritone and Orchestra  
6 1 I praise the tender flower, H 65a. Andante moderato - 3:15
7 2 Thou didst delight my eyes, H 65b. Allegro appassionato - 3:21
   
 

Two Intermezzi from 'Threads', H 151 (1921/1938)

8:36  
8 I Andante molto moderato e tranquillo 3:54
9 II Tempo di valse - Animato 4:40
   
 

Two Old English Songs, H 119 (1916)

7:34  
  Arranged for String Orchestra  
10 Sally in Our Alley. Andante con moto - Poco tranquillo - 4:19
11 Cherry Ripe. Allegretto con moto 3:14
   
 

Two Entr'actes (1906, 1926)

6:42  
12 I Rosemary, H 68b. Andante espressivo e molto rubato - 3:56
13 II Canzonetta, H 169. Allegretto molto moderato e rubato - 2:45
   
14 

Valse Intermezzo à cordes, H 17 (1902)

6:53
  No. 2 from Four Pieces for String Orchestra assembled and arranged by Paul Hindemith  
  Moderato - Valse lente - Coda  
   
premiere recording
15 

Todessehnsucht (1932/1936)

3:56
  Arrangement for string orchestra of Komm, süßer Tod, BWV 478, from Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesang-Buch, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)  
  Lento e sostenuto - Poco più andante ma sostenuto -  
16 

Sir Roger de Coverley (A Christmas Dance), H 155 (1922/1939)

3:24
  for Strings  
  Allegro con spirito - Tempo risoluto  
The name Frank Bridge is familiar to most music students only because of his famous pupil, Benjamin Britten, but his graceful, charming and often wistful music, which includes symphonic poems and a large body of chamber works, has remained largely unheard both in the concert hall and on disc. Richard Hickox’s series is the first comprehensive survey of works by this quintessentially English composer. It has brought many new works by Bridge to the public’s attention for the first time and is already considered first choice for this repertoire.

This Fifth and penultimate volume in this bestselling series features some of Bridge’s lighter music, charming pieces which he wrote while he was a young man.

Premiere recordings of The Hag and Two Songs of Robert Bridges.

The three orchestral songs in this recording are sung by Roderick Williams. Roderick has appeared on many of Chandos’ best-loved British recordings, including the premiere of Vaughan Williams’s ‘Nocturne’, The Poisoned Kiss and, most recently Sir Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement.


Writing in 1947, Britten set out some persuasive reasons why the so-called salon music – the easy-going lighter work of his early years – of his teacher and mentor Frank Bridge should be taken as seriously as the masterworks of his maturity. Bridge, he observed, ‘wanted to write or play music grateful and easy to listen to, which some people label and dismiss as salon music…’ Bridge’s early works, such as the elegant Valse Intermezzo à cordes, are confident and technically accomplished.

While Bridge was never as adventurous in writing for the human voice as he was in writing for strings, his song settings are exquisite. There are some unexplored gems, notably his songs with orchestral accompaniment. The three recorded here are receiving their first performance for almost one hundred years.

The Suite for Strings possesses all those ingredients that Britten so admired in his teacher’s early works – Gallic grace and technical sophistication. Although Bridge never considered himself to be part of an English school of composers, he used modal themes surprisingly often, such as at the opening of the Prelude’. There is grace and charm in the ‘Intermezzo’ and with the haunting ‘Nocturne’, Bridge enters deeper emotional territory.

In 1921 Bridge composed an incidental score for a three-act comedy called Threads. The play sank without a trace, but Bridge’s music stole the headlines. The first of the Two Intermezzi from ‘Threads’, a gentle Andante, contains one of Bridge’s trademark wistful, ‘English’ melodies. The second, Tempo di valse, is one of the most exuberant of his dance movements – a pastiche Viennese waltz, with an energy and orchestral colour that look forward to Enter Spring.

In 1932 Bridge was invited by Oxford University Press to contribute to a piano album of Bach transcriptions. Bridge later adapted his arrangement of Komm, süßer Tod, given the title Todessehnsucht, for orchestra and his richly textured version is as luxuriant as any transcription by Stokowski.


      Review for Volumes 1 - 6
"...Throughout these six collections the BBC National Orchestra of Wales are on top form; they obviously enjoy the music. Hickox is persuasively idiomatic an spontaneous, and the Chandos recording is first class)"

The Pengiun Guide – 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12


This is Volume 5 of Chandos’ indispensable Frank Bridge series. The Suite for Strings is superbly done, Richard Hickox being fully alive to the wide range of moods that make up the four movements. Drawing excellent playing, Hickox catches the rumination and growth of the opening Prelude, the perkiness and expressive asides of the Intermezzo creates a haunting atmosphere for the introspective Nocturne, and the Finale scampers with good humour. The rest of the CD is of miniatures, each memorable, and including first recordings.
Fanfare

'Sound, lacking nothing in clarity and warmth, is well up to the standard of previous volumes - as is Paul Hindmarsh's enthusiastic note. One disc to go… should make a fitting close to this valuable series.'
International Record Review

'Another valuable survey, then, glowingly engineered by Ralph Couzens and expertly annotated by Paul Hindmarsh.'
Gramophone

'But there is still a more substantial gem, the Suite for Strings - a work that deserves to be ranked alongside the better-known British classics for string orchestra (Elgar, Vaughan Williams , Britten and Tippett.)'
BBC Music Magazines

Here is Volume 5 in a superb series of Frank Bridge’s orchestral music… This is a beautifully played and produced program of under-valued British music, and is recommended along with the other volumes in the series.
American Record Guide




*****
D Stockwell