As this superb 2009 Hyperion disc by pianist Piers Lane and the Goldner String Quartet demonstrates, Frank Bridge was a hot-blooded romantic in his youth, a sensuous impressionist in his early manhood, a devout iconoclast in his maturity, and himself in every instance. Thus, in the lushly romantic Piano Quintet's rhetoric, the Three Idylls' lyricism, and the String Quartet's bracingly dissonant energy, the true voice of Bridge can always be heard: an intelligent but highly poetic voice of great strength and sensitivity. Piers Lane's performance of the quintet with the Goldner Quartet is tight, agile, and emotionally effective. By itself, the Goldner turns in a tender reading of the Idylls and a muscular account of the quartet, which makes the most of each work's virtues. Captured in clean but colorful digital sound, this disc ought to be heard by those interested in either the composer or the period.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Quintet for piano & string quartet in D minor, H 49|
|Idylls (3) for string quartet, H 67|
|String Quartet No. 4, H 188|