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Bridge: Piano Quintet, String Quartet no 4, Idylls / Piers Lane, Goldner String Quartet

Album Summary

>Bridge, Frank [Composer] : Quintet for piano & string quartet in D minor, H 49
>Bridge, Frank [Composer] : Idylls (3) for string quartet, H 67
>Bridge, Frank [Composer] : Quartet for Strings no 4, H 188
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The chamber music of composer Frank Bridge, best remembered as the teacher of Benjamin Britten, reveals the composer’s strong French influence, the dance-like quality of his writing darkened with a brooding inspiration, and the music's dramatic and emotional heart. Featured here are the early Idylls, the ambitious Piano Quintet and the extraordinary fourth String Quartet, Bridge’s last chamber work. The Goldner Quartet is joined by pianist Piers Lane.

A disc of outstanding Australian chamber musicians, including London-based pianist Piers Lane and violinist Dene Olding, longtime Concertmaster of Sydney Symphony. Best known as Britten's teacher and mentor, Frank Bridge composed music of great warmth and lush Romanticism.

'This is an absolutely splendid disc, with powerful, committed performances that illuminate Bridge's mastery of chamber music' (BBC Music Magazine)

'[Fourth Quartet] This is arguably Bridge's most rivetingly cogent and harmonically bracing statement, evincing a deftness, compassion, and unerring intellectual scope that beg comparison with the greatest 20th-century examples in the medium ... These unfailingly sympathetic, flexible and exhilaratingly assured performances (that of the Quartet, on balance, the finest to date have been most truthfully captured by the microphones; Bridge's cataloguer Paul Hindmarsh provides the scholarly annotation ... This is clearly a release to investigate, as well as a distinguished addition to the steadily growing Bridge discography' (Gramophone)

'Bridge's musical personality shines through in the sweeping phrases, tinged with a certain brooding quality ... The performance by Piers Lane and the Goldner Quartet is very fine, with a particularly strong sense of musical line ... This newcomer on Hyperion is especially welcome' (International Record Review)

'The tremendous sweep of Frank Bridge's chamber music is beautifully captured in this revelatory CD ... The Goldner Quartet really understand this music and with masterly pianist Piers Lane throw welcome light on a neglected page of British music' (The Observer)

'An important and fascinating disc, which anyone interested in 20th-century music should hear' (The Guardian)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Frank Bridge's comprehensive 1912 revision of his D minor Piano Quintet from seven years before remains the sole comparative dud in his early chamber output - and not even this splendidly articulate rendering from Piers Lane and the Goldners can persuade otherwise. The original work's four movements are condensed to three, its centrepiece a gratefully lyrical amalgam of slow movement and scherzo enclosed within one of Bridge's arch-like 'phantasy' structures. Alas, the opening movement (after a promising start) soon drifts into a worryingly humdrum, sequential lassitude, and the finale fails to provide sufficient ballast to counterbalance what has preceded it.

The Three Idylls of 1906 are an infinitely more enticing proposition - exquisitely crafted, keenly proportioned and supremely touching miniatures for string quartet, the second of which later provided the 23-year-old Britten with the theme for his Op 10 Variations for string orchestra. The Fourth Quartet is utterly different again. Completed in 1937 after a near-fatal bout of bronchitis, this is arguably Bridge's most rivetingly cogent and harmonically bracing statement, evincing a deftness, compassion and unerring intellectual scope that beg comparison with the greatest 20th-century examples in the medium.

These unfailingly sympathetic, flexible and exhilaratingly assured performances have been most truthfully captured. So, despite reservations surrounding the Quintet, this is clearly a release to investigate.



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Works Details

>Bridge, Frank [Composer] : Quintet for piano & string quartet in D minor, H 49
  • Performer: Piers Lane (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (07/29/2008-07/31/2008)
  • Running Time: 27 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1904-1905

>Bridge, Frank [Composer] : Idylls (3) for string quartet, H 67
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (07/29/2008-07/31/2008)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Bridge, Frank [Composer] : Quartet for Strings no 4, H 188
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (07/29/2008-07/31/2008)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1937