Bridge: Phantasy Piano Quartet & Sonatas. Nash Ens
Catalog: CDA 68003
Bridge: Phantasy Piano Quartet, Cello Sonata, Violin Sonata, Folk Tunes for String Quartet
The Nash Ensemble presents a fascinating compendium of Frank Bridge's chamber music. Bridge is best known through his most famous pupil, Benjamin Britten, who recognized his teacher's genius and frequently programmed his works. The Phantasy Piano Quartet, completed in June 1910, reveals Bridge's early style at its most fluent. In his later works, represented here by the Cello Sonata and Violin Sonata, Bridge made use of more angular melodies, and seemed influenced by contemporary trends in Europe, much to the dismay of critics at home, but Britten staunchly defended him. Also included are folk-song arrangements in which Bridge absorbs the material into his musical fabric, taking creative ownership of the melodies.