Three Miniatures for Piano Trio, Nos.7-9
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 the Miniatures which contributed to his success.
Bridge (1879-1941) composed three sets of three miniatures for piano trio during the first two decades of the 20th Century. Because these works were written for one of his violin students and her sister who studied the cello, these works have been written-off as ‘student works.’ But, as Professor Renz Opolis wrote in his article on the Miniatures in The Chamber Music Journal
"There is a difference between works written for students and student works and it can be said with certainty that the Miniatures are not the latter and they ought not to be dismissed as inconsequential student works suitable for neither amateur nor professional. To the contrary, any one of these tonally diverse and brilliantly written cameos would serve as a superb encore for a professional piano trio while amateurs will spend many a happy hour with these delightful works."
The three miniatures presented here are from his third set composed in 1915. The first Valse Russe, is a slow, sad waltz with lovely string solos and duets. The second of the set, Hornpipe, is a modern, snappy sailor’s ditty with the word ‘encore’ written all over it. The third, Marche Militaire, sounds Elgarian and Edwardian. Stirring music that might have been heard on a WWI patriotic newsreel.