Earning a Living: 19
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Earning a Living: 20

Simultaneously, Bridge's early style came to maturity; it was well-nigh fully-developed by 1908 in the Dance Rhapsody and clearly exemplified in such works as the Suite for String Orchestra (1909-10), the Phantasy Piano Quartet (1910) and the orchestral suite The Sea (1910-11). In 1912 he composed little that was new, but embarked on a year of reckoning as it were, surveying his compositional achievements of the previous decade and revising two of his earlier chamber works, the Piano Quintet and String Sextet.

The only main cause for concern was that the works on which he had spent the most effort, his orchestral ones, were, with one exception, receiving an insufficient number of performances. Admittedly his second symphonic poem, Isabella was the first of Bridge's works to be included in the Promenade Concerts at the Queen's Hall as one of Wood's novelties, on 3 October 1907, and it was repeated at a Royal College of Music concert the following February.19 The College also provided the platform for the first performance of the Dance Rhapsody five months later (21 July 1908), the work subsequently included in the programme for the first festival of the Music League which took place at Liverpool, being given in the afternoon orchestral concert on 25 September 1909. However, this satisfactory state of affairs did not continue. Neither work made its way into the orchestral repertoire as Bridge had hoped but was more or less forgotten, a situation that, as far as the Dance Rhapsody in particular is concerned, seems inexplicable. During the pre-war period, Isabella received one more performance, on 12 February 1911, but it was not until 1914 that the Dance Rhapsody was heard again, Bridge conducting a performance at the Proms on 15 October.

19 A grant from the Patron's Fund helped to defray the cost of copying the parts.