Monday 26 February 2024


 Born on this day in 1879 was the composer, musician and snappy dresser Frank Bridge, who taught Benjamin Britten, and was greatly admired by his pupil, who championed his music and paid musical homage in his Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. When Britten sailed for America in 1939, Bridge gave him his 1843 Giussani viola, bidding him bon voyage et bon retour. Bridge died in 1941, never seeing Britten, or his Giussani, again. 
  I can't pretend to know much of Bridge's music, though I like most of what I have heard. However, when I was learning piano, I managed to just about play 'Rosemary', the second of his Three Sketches. Hearing it today takes me back to my piano teacher's study, with its soft-toned Bl├╝thner, its heavy Arts & Crafts decor and lingering smell of pipe smoke and tweed... 

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