Joseph Cox Bridge (1853-1929) was an English organist and composer. Born at Rochester, Kent, studied under John Hopkins and his elder brother, Frederick, who later became organist of Westminster Abbey.
From 1871 to 1876 he was organist of Exeter College, Oxford, and received his Mus. B. in 1876. In 1877 he became organist of Chester Cathedral. There he revived the Chester triennial festival. In 1908 he became a professor at the University of Durham.
His works include an oratorio, Daniel (1885); a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, in C, for voice and orchestra (1879); and considerable organ-music, anthems, and part-songs.
I do so many pieces in rapid succession, that I sometimes can't even recall if I played it before. Such was the case with this one!
I DID play this two years ago in my "Summertime Series," but this is an entirely new version - different performance, different organ, SLIGHTLY different time taken. :-)
The score can be "enhanced" by "thumbing down" the "echoing phrases," and I've done that here, in a similar manner as I did before, but I think this version has more color, and the reeds of the Swell and Solo really shine here.
Like all pastorales, the mood starts happily, but is interrupted by a sudden summer storm!
Will the duckies be safe in the pond? What about the bunnies? And of course, the rare woodland bovines? Will they be safe?!?!?
Well, of course they will!
The storm quickly subsides, the sun returns, and the happy creatures can frolic merrily in safety!
Thank goodness that all is well!
It's always dangerous to say that a piece is "charming," but this is a real charmer! Sad that virtually all English organists have abandoned this music.
It may not be great and monumental stuff, but it is attractive, and IS part of the great English organ tradition.
The score is attached below, a photo of Joseph Bridge, a memorial plaque in Chester Cathedral, and photos of Exeter College, Oxford and of Chester Cathedral, where he was organist.