Frank Bridge

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String Sextet in E flat Major

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.

The Sextet was begun in 1906 but was not completed until 1912. In those six years, his style had evolved considerably. By the time he came to complete the Sextet, his tonal universe had moved well beyond Brahms and was influenced by French impressionism. The first movement, Allegro moderato, opens with a majestic soaring melody which immediately establishes the character of the work. The music unfolds at a leisurely pace. Bridge relies more on the richness of the tonal texture rather than in contrasting tempi changes. The second subject is tender and romantic. The second movement, Andante con moto, consists of an expressive intermezzo followed by a lively scherzo in the minor. The finale, Allegro ben moderato, begins with a striking chromatic passage. Soon, he reintroduces material from the earlier movements but dressed up differently.

This marvelous Sextet, though important in its own right, is important historically for its place. It is a post-Brahmsian work, which though it shows some influence of French impressionist ideas, is developed entirely originally in Bridge's own idiomatic style. It is without doubt one of the best early 20th century sextets. A work suitable to both professionals and amateurs alike. Long out of print and unavailable, we are pleased to reintroduce it.

In addition, we are pleased to offer this Sextet in a version for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello and Bass. Our bass part was made by Anthony Scelba, noted bass soloist, Professor of Music and Director of the Concert Artists Program of Kean University. In an effort to give bass players a chance to play many of the great works of the chamber music repertoire, Professor Scelba has made several highly acclaimed transcriptions, including one for the Schubert Quintet D.956, which has been recorded.


(A) 2 Violins, 2 Violas & 2 Cellos-Parts $39.95
(B) 2 Violins, 2 Violas & 2 Cellos-Parts & Score $49.95
(C) 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass-Parts $39.95
(D) 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass-Parts & Score $49.95
(E) All Seven Parts $46.95
(F) All Seven Parts & Score $56.95



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