Allegro appassionato for Viola and Piano
Bridge's Allegro appassionato dates from 1908. Bridge himself was a violist and he probably intended this as a work which he himself could perform in recital. Not surprisingly, it makes excellent use of the viola, utilizing its entire tonal register and special timbre.
Born in Sussex, Frank Bridge learned to play violin from his father, and had much early exposure to practical musicianship, playing in theatre orchestras his father conducted. He studied violin and composition, the latter from Charles Stanford, at the Royal College of Music. He later played viola in prominent quartets and was a respected conductor. When Frank Bridge’s chamber music first appeared, it was a revelation to amateurs as well as professional players. Interestingly, the revival in interest in Bridge’s music which took place during the last part of the 20th Century has concerned itself exclusively with his more ‘radical’ works, dating from 1924 onwards. Ironically, these works did nothing to create or further enhance the firm reputation he had established with both professionals and amateurs. Rather, it was works just like his Allegro appassionato which contributed to his success.