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Phantasie Trio in C minor 'Piano Trio No 1'


The significance of Bridge’s continued Cobbett Competition success (his Quartet had won second prize in the 1905 competition) in terms of his stylistic development and the growth of his reputation, should not be underestimated. The 1907 Phantasie for piano trio (his Piano Trio No 1) established him as one of the leading chamber-music composers of the younger generation.

The single span of the Phantasie embraces sonata exposition and recapitulation, separated by andante and scherzo episodes which are linked by rudimentary transitions into an arch-shaped introduction: sonata exposition—andante—scherzo—extension of andante episode to effect a lyrical climax—sonata recapitulation—coda.

It was some months after the adjudication that performances of the prize-winning compositions were arranged. The London Piano Trio was engaged and the three premieres given over a six-month period. Bridge’s winning entry was given the distinction of publication through the Worshipful Company and a first performance at a Musicians’ Society banquet.

Cobbett, who had a number of reservations about the finale of Bridge’s first Phantasie, for string quartet (1905), was in no doubt of the quality of the new work. In a lecture given at the Royal Academy of Music in 1911 he said: ‘Mr Bridge’s Trio is of a remarkable beauty and brilliance and stamps him as one of our foremost composers for the chamber. With a lavishness to which I can recall few precedents, he has provided thematic material more than sufficient for a lengthy work in sonata form.’

from notes by Paul Hindmarsh © 1988


Bridge: Piano Trios & Phantasy Quartet


Movement 1: Allegro moderato
Movement 2: Allegro scherzoso
Movement 3: Allegro moderato

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