Boyd Neel Orchestra, Boyd Neel cond
Frank Bridge (1879-1941), English composer and conductor, and also Britten's first composition teacher.
The theme is from the second of the Three idylls for string quartet (H 67) by Bridge. The same theme was also used by Britten in 1932 for a quite separate and unfinished set of variations for solo piano: see Untitled piece in E minor (1932).
The work was designed as a character study of Britten's teacher, each section reflecting one side of his personality, and the finale quotes from five other works by Bridge: Enter spring (H 174), The sea (H 100), Piano trio (H 178), Summer (H 116) and There is a willow grows aslant a brook (H173).