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Cat. No. CHAN 10112 Price: £5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10112 - Bridge: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3
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Available From: 14 November 2003
Bridge wrote Coronation March for a competition celebrating the new Georgian era. Though scored for large orchestra and full of impressive gestures, it is not the stuff of patriotic marches, for Bridge had a penchant for irregular phrase lengths, modal inflexions and harmonic excursions to remote keys. What it lacks in rhetoric, however, it certainly makes up for in lyrical warmth.

Bridge was a pacifist and many of his closest friends were killed in the First World War. He was at pains not to dwell upon the distressing emotions and instead, in 1915, wrote a trio of musical idylls – the Two Poems for Orchestra and the Tone Poem Summer, which paint musical pictures of summer days with simmering string figures and haunting harmonies.

Bridge originally arranged Sir Roger de Coverley for string quartet but expanded it into a miniature dance poem for large orchestra for inclusion at the last night of the Proms in 1922. His colourful Christmas Dance with its free flowing variations and a seasonal inclusion of Auld Lang Syne received prolonged applause.

There is a Willow Grows aslant a Brook is taken from a passage in Hamlet describing the drowning of Ophelia. Bridge’s haunting music follows with clear musical detail her final grief-stricken moments.

Phantasm evokes a spectral world of dreams and ghostly apparitions. It is a piano concerto in all but name, written in a single movement.

The three Vigneettes de Danse are light-hearted musical postcards from a motoring holiday Bridge took around the Alps and Mediterranean coast. The works contain plenty of local colour: Nicolette is a mildly exotic dance featuring an oboe at the start, Zoraida is more seductive with sinuous, modal melodies and Carmelita is an extrovert piece full of Spanish character.

Reviews

              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
 

'The performances exhibit commitment and a strong sense of familiarirty with all these works. Hickox is thoroughly persuasive at all times, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales delivers the goods with deserved confidence' Full marks for this one.'
Fanfare

'The performances under Hickox are as authoritative as ever.'
The Guardian

The performances under Hickox are as authoritative as ever.
The Guardian

As before, Hickox obtains excellent performances from his Cardiff musicians with some particularly expressive woodwind playing; Howard Shelley is a first-rate soloist in the Phantasm. There is excellent sound in this SACD recording, and authoritative notes from the Bridge expert Paul Hindmarsh. Warmly recommended.
Gramophone

'…I can't imagine anyone not falling head over heels for the second volume in Richard Hickox's series of orchestral music by Frank Bridge.'
Gramophone

Another absorbing Bridge anthology from Hickox includes two disc debuts.
Gramophone

Richard Hickoxs survey of Frank Bridge goes from strength to strength with a well-chosen programme that boasts excellent playing - and a premier recording of the 1911 Coronation March. Most impressive is the macabre Phantasm and the tone poem Summer, written at the start of the First World War, its almost a farewell to a more peaceful era.
Independent

'Richard Hickox's survey of Frank Bridge goes from strength to strength with a well-chosen programme that boasts excellent playing - and a premier recording of the 1911 Coronation March. Most impressive is the macabre Phantasm and the tone poem Summer, written at the start of the First World War, it's almost a farewell to a more peaceful era.'
The Independent

'As before, Hickox obtains excellent performances from his Cardiff musicians with some particularly expressive woodwind playing; Howard Shelley is a first-rate soloist in the Phantasm. There is excellent sound in this SACD recording, and authoritative notes from the Bridge expert Paul Hindmarsh. Warmly recommended.'
Gramphone

 

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