BRIDGE Orchestral Works Vol. 4 Alban Gerhardt, BBC National Chorus of Wales, BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Richard Hickox Chandos

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Bridge Orchestral Works Vol 4 Of Wales Richard Hickox Chandos

FRANK BRIDGE(1879–1941)

Orchestral Works, Volume 4

premiere recording on CD

Rebus (1941) 10:45

Overture for Orchestra

Allegro deciso – Poco moderato – Tempo giusto – Ben ritmico – Tempo I – Moderato – Largamente – Moderato – Poco moderato – Allegro vivo

A Prayer (1916–18) 17:54

for Chorus and Orchestra

Andante moderato – Allegro moderato – Poco allargando – Più lento e largamente – A tempo moderato – Poco animato – Tempo I – Tranquillo – A tempo I – Tempo I ma tranquillo

Lament (1915) 5:20

for String Orchestra

Catherine, aged 9, ‘Lusitania’ 1915 - Adagio, con molto espressione – Poco più adagio

Oration (Concerto elegiaco) (1930) 29:18

for Solo Cello and Orchestra

Poco lento – Lento e ritmico – Allegro – Ben moderato (poco lento) – Poco lento – Allegro giusto – Tranquillo – Ben moderato, mesto e tranquillo – Cadenza – Allegro – Lento – Epilogue. Andante tranquillo

Allegro moderato (1940–41) 13:26

Fragment of a symphony for string orchestra

Edited by Anthony Pople Allegro moderato – Animato e deciso – Moderato – Poco largamente – Tranquillo – [Animato e deciso] – Allegro deciso – Meno mosso

TT 77:01

Bridge composed Lament for string orchestra in 1915 in memory of a young friend who, with her family, drowned when the Lusitania was sunk. It is one of his most effective miniatures, poignant yet restrained in its lyrical beauty, with a compelling directness of expression and simplicity of construction.

In the spring of 1916 Bridge drafted a more extended, though equally poignant war work.This was his plea for peace, a setting of ‘A Prayer’ by the fourteenth-century German mystic Thomas à Kempis. It was Bridge’s only work for chorus and orchestra and he cast it in a simple verse form. All Bridge’s convictions and emotions about the First World War were enshrined in the Oration for Solo Cello and Orchestra, which was completed in 1930, nearly twelve years after the Armistice. Bridge apparently changed the title from Concerto elegiaco to Oration because he wanted to make clear that it was an outcry against the futility of war.

‘Rebus’, according to its dictionary definition, is a sort of graphic riddle.The overture of that name was a comment on the Second World War and the title suggests that the work is trying to convey, in musical terms, the way in which ideas, thoughts and images can become progressively distorted and their meaning transformed from innocent to macabre.

The Allegro moderato for strings was Bridge’s last work, and he died before he could finish it. He orchestrated all but the last 21 bars (which were completed by Dr Anthony Pople in the 1970s). It is known that Bridge intended to write a symphony, and the Allegro moderato is probably only its first movement.

Alban Gerhardt cello, BBC National Chorus of Wales, Adrian Partington chorus master, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Lucy Gould leader, Richard Hickox

Chandos CHAN10188

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