BRITTEN Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge
This broadcast features two talented young musicians — one French, one English, and both with great gift for melody and form, style, and craft.
Frenchman Maurice Ravel wrote a short sonata movement to enter into a magazine contest in 1903. The piece was disqualified on a technicality, but soon enough expanded into a three-movement work, Sonatine, that gained admirers everywhere — onstage and off.
Three decades later, an acquaintance asked the young Benjamin Britten if he could complete a brand-new commission on very short deadline. The resulting homage to Britten’s teacher Frank Bridge was given its premiere at the world-famous Salzburg Festival just three months later, adding to Britten’s newly surging reputation. Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge aptly mirrors Bridge’s wide-ranging musical taste and dynamic personality, from Viennese waltz to a march, from funeral march to beguiling opera aria.