The Beloved Vagabonds: 8
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
The Beloved Vagabonds: 9

Bridge thought otherwise; his attitude towards the regime at College was by no means uncritical. At first he had been deeply frustrated by having to progress stage-by-stage through the standard College curriculum for harmony and counterpoint, his pre-College experience counting for nothing. Subsequently, Stanford's conservatism was frustrating too, despite the fact that in some ways Bridge and Stanford were alike, sharing similar views on the importance of cultivating a strong work-ethic and of being thoroughly professional. Indeed, Bridge could acknowledge on occasion the justice of Stanford's criticisms of his student compositions. For instance, he could not resist the opportunity to indulge in a flurry of Romantic storm music in The Hag, and this invoked a severe lecture from Stanford, the truth of which Bridge accepted only after its performance.16 On the other hand, Stanford was resentful if a student wished to employ 'such "luxury" instruments as bass clarinets and double bassoons, and to write a tremolando for the double basses was a sure way of rousing him to wrath'.17 For students wishing to amass a comprehensive knowledge of orchestration, such restrictions appeared ridiculous.

Bridge had greater respect for Parry, who had a more catholic interest in contemporary music, and Bridge's sympathy subsequently found expression when he composed a short organ piece as a tribute to Parry following his death in 1918. This was performed at Parry's funeral, which took place in St Paul's Cathedral on 16 October. Bridge also took part in a Parry Memorial Concert given the following December, playing with the English String Quartet in Parry's own String Quintet in E flat.

When Stanford died in 1924, Bridge supplied brief comments to two articles in Music and Letters and the Royal College of Music Magazine commemorating Stanford's contribution as a teacher, but that was all. Even then, after the passage of some twenty years, Bridge could not bring himself to omit in the latter, tongue in cheek no doubt but with the distant memory still smarting a little perhaps, 'It won't do, me bhoy'.

16 See Frank Bridge in Walford Davies et al., 'Charles Villiers Stanford by some of his pupils', Music and Letters, July 1924, p 196. Bridge does not specify The Hag as the ill-fated work, only a song with orchestra. However, the only other example of an orchestral song written by him while a student was the Berceuse for soprano and orchestra, which could hardly provoke anyone's censure.
17 T Dunhill in E Bainton et al, 'Sir Charles Stanford and his pupils', Royal College of Music Magazine, Vol 20, No 2, 1924, p 56.