BTC833 VARIATIONS ON A THEME OF FRANK BRIDGE

For string orchestra, op. 10
Period of composition: 5 Jun - 12 Jul 1937
First performance: 25 Aug 1937 >>
Type of performance: Radio broadcast
Location: Radio Hilversum, The Netherlands
Performance details:

Boyd Neel Orchestra, Boyd Neel cond

Genre: Orchestral
Duration: 25'
Dedication: 'To F.B. A tribute with affection and admiration'

Frank Bridge (1879-1941), English composer and conductor, and also Britten's first composition teacher.

Notes

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).

Movements

  • Introduction and theme
  • Variation 1: Adagio
  • Variation 2: March
  • Variation 3: Romance
  • Variation 4: Aria Italiana
  • Variation 5: BourrĂ©e classique >>
    notes:

    Completed 24 Jun 1937.

  • Variation 6: Wiener walzer >>
    notes:

    Completed 24 Jun 1937.

  • Variation 7: Moto perpetuo
  • Variation 8: Funeral march
  • Variation 9: Chant
  • Variation 10: Fugue and finale