Earning a Living: 14
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Earning a Living: 15

However, in 1905, before the second march, Bridge had already gained his first success. He had entered a competition arranged by the pianist Mark Hambourg, who required a short contemporary piano piece such as a prelude, nocturne or barcarolle to add to his repertoire. Bridge quickly composed his Capriccio No 1 in A minor and submitted it. Despite strong competition (96 entries), Bridge was the winner, receiving the prize of ten guineas, and Hambourg played the Capriccio at a concert at the Bechstein Hall on 20 May (1905) with considerable success: 'It was greatly applauded, repeated, and the composer was twice called to the platform'.10

1905 also saw the first of an extended series of competitions that acted as a strong encouragement to British chamber music while also effectively adding to its repertoire. The idea for the competitions was conceived by Walter Wilson Cobbett (1847-1937), a businessman and amateur violinist who had a very keen interest in chamber music; he compiled and edited the Cyclopedic Survey of Chamber Music (1929) in two volumes, a standard work on the subject. Cobbett was much attracted to the Phantasy, and in a talk given to the Concert-goers' Club at the Royal Academy of Music on 1 February 1911, he outlined the train of thought that had led him to this particular choice:

I reflected that in literature there are the lyric and the epic poem, the short story and the long novel; in the orchestra, besides the symphony, the overture and the symphonic poem; but that in chamber music there is only one form that counts ... And I concluded that a new type suited to the needs of the chamber-music composer was needed. I should like to add that no revolt against convention was ever intended by me - not even the substitution of one convention for another ... Sonata form will always remain to lovers of absolute music the most serviceable of musical structures. I would rather say that a new convention is wanted to stand side by side with the old one; which, though conceived on a less ambitious scale, is yet deemed worthy of academic sanction.11

10 Musical Times, June 1905, p 384.
11 Quoted in 'British Chamber Music', Musical Times, April 1911, p 242.