Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
not express an opinion on modern composers, it is well known that very few of them have caught his interest. He has one passionate pastime--travel, particularly travel in Italy. Otherwise, his life consists primarily of work and intensive musical study, which Braunfels has never abandoned. Braunfels' symphonic works have all been performed in the United States by our leading symphony orchestras; his operas and choral works, however, are still total strangers here.Principal works by Walter Braunfels:
OPERA : Galatea; Don Gil von den Grünen Hosen; Vogel.
ORCHESTRA : Neues Vederspiel (violin and orchestra) ; Funk; Don Juan Variations; Prelude and Fugue; Symphonic Suite; 'Cello Concerto.
CHORAL : Te Deum; Grosse Messe. Songs, pieces for piano, etc.

About Walter Braunfels:

Schweizerische Musikzeitung 70:257April 1, 1930; Zeitschrift für Musik 97:437June 1930.


Frank Bridge 1879-

FRANK BRIDGE, one of the most prominent names in modern chamber music, was born in Brighton on February 26, 1879. Altho he entered the Royal College of Music as a violinist, his creative talents were so marked that he succeeded in gaining the composition scholarship in 1899, which enabled him to study for four years under Stanford. His schooling ended, Bridge joined the Grimson String Quartet, continuing his work in chamber music by subsequently joining the Joachim and the English String Quartets. The training he received as a member of these groups was invaluable, for it not only introduced him intimately to the entire literature of chamber music but it also taught him, thru the experience of performance, the nature of chamber-music style--a lesson which was to serve him in good stead when he began composing for small groups. It is because of this experience as a violinist in string quartets that, from the very first, Frank Bridge's chamber music revealed sureness and strength. His first String Quartet in E-Minor won a mention d'honneur at Bologna in 1906; and his Piano Quintet, composed a year earlier, definitely revealed an important musical personality and was already a definite contribution to chamber literature. "Altho he had not yet travelled any great distance along the road which led to his present strongly individual manner," wrote Edwin Evans concerning this early quintet, "this work was of the type upon which no composer cares to turn his back even when he has left far behind the method of working which it represents. Its chief fault was its length. . . . There are many who look upon the slow movement as containing as much intrinsic beauty as may be found in those works which are considered his masterpieces."

Frank Bridge has likewise distinguished himself as a conductor. In 1910 he conducted opera at the Savoy Theatre, and soon thereafter he conducted the Audrey Chapman Orchestra regularly. Since then he has directed the Queen's Hall, the Royal Philharmonic and the London Symphony orchestras revealing that his baton had authority, firmness and eloquence. In 1923, he visited the United States, conducting his own works with leading symphony orchestras. He revisited this country in the Fall of 1934.

Altho Bridge has composed richly for the orchestra, his symphonic music, with

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