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No. 1 - Allegretto grazioso (Six Organ Pieces)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (09/12/12)
Composer: Bridge, Frank
Sample Producer: Lavender Audio
Sample Set: Hereford Cathedral Willis Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Frank Bridge was born in Brighton, where his father directed a theatre orchestra. He gained early experience with the group as violinist and arranger before going to study violin at the Royal College of Music in London. In 1899 he won a scholarship to study composition with Stanford for four years. He was a remarkable teacher, though Britten was his only composition pupil.

Perhaps no other British composer of the first half of the 20th century reveals such a stylistic journey in his music. His early works follow in the late-Romantic tradition bearing a kinship with Fauré. After the First World War, however, his music became intense and chromatic.

The "Six Organ Pieces" are a combination of two books. The first three pieces were published in 1919, and the last three in 1914, and were previously entitled First Book and Second Book of Organ Pieces; however, the first three pieces were composed as early as autumn 1905, the year of the publication of the Three Pieces which include the well-known Adagio in E. In addition, Bridge’s oeuvre for organ includes the short piece in the Little Organ Book in memory of Hubert Parry and three later pieces composed in 1939. These pieces demonstrate signs of an increasing fluency of thought and contrapuntal skill and they show Bridge to have been a master of purely musical discourse at a time when the preoccupations of many of his British contemporaries were mystical and poetically atmospheric.

No. 1, "Allegretto grazioso", is a gentle work in 6/8 time, and full of confident modulations before the return of the soaring solo theme, played on the Harmonic Flute of the Solo Organ.

There is a real pastorale-feel to this, and it sounds like waters flowing and rippling in a little brook. It is dated, "September, 1905".
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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