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Hyperion Records

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On the Pier, Brighton by Charles Edward Conder (1868-1909)
Private Collection / The Fine Art Society, London / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67726
Recording details: July 2008
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Hayes
Engineered by Ben Connellan
Release date: May 2009
Total duration: 28 minutes 13 seconds

'[Fourth Quartet] 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)

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

'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)

'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)

Piano Quintet, H49a
in D minor; original written in 1905 (and twice performed in 1907); significantly re-worked in 1912

Allegro energico  [6'17]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Early in 1905 Bridge composed an ambitious Piano Quintet in D minor (H49). This was a muscular, four-movement work, with a huge piano part, brim full of musical ideas, but rather unwieldy and certainly lacking the refinement and elegance of his mature chamber works. After two performances in 1907, Bridge consigned it to a bottom drawer. Then in 1912 he took it up again. The revisions amounted to complete re-write, in which he fashioned something characteristic out of immature beginnings. The unbridled energy of the original first movement is toned down to be replaced by a more brooding inspiration infused with that ‘Gallic’ impulse. Bridge condensed the original second and third movements into a single span, the principal melody of the B major Adagio ma non troppo framing the fleet-footed A minor scherzo (Allegro con brio). The finale also benefitted from a major prune and the final climax is clinched by a re-introduction of the first and second subjects from the first movement. Bridge’s substantially revised the piano part in line with his Phantasie Piano Trio (1907) and Phantasy Piano Quartet (1910). Most of the angularities from 1905 have been smoothed out and there is a greater reliance on Fauré-inspired arpeggiated figuration.

from notes by Paul Hindmarsh © 2009

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