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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Established: 25

To be held highly in the esteem of a select band of colleagues in the musical profession was obviously gratifying to Bridge, but the possibility of extending his reputation outside this group of well-wishers to the general musical public throughout the country was hampered by the limited amount of his music available in print. One of the advantages of the Cobbett competitions had been that the prize-winning works were published, but by 1913 it was only these, together with the Idylls from among Bridge's major chamber compositions, that were in print. It is true that there were also several piano pieces and songs published, plus several short duos for piano and violin, viola or cello, but their musical substance was modest. However, during the next decade, 1913-23, the steadily increasing popularity of his compositions led Augener, Bridge's main publisher, not only to print several new works just after they had been composed, but also to publish the backlog of earlier works that had remained in manuscript. The Novelletten appeared in 1915, the First String Quartet the following year, with the revised versions of the Piano Quintet in 1919 and the Sextet in 1920.

Unfortunately, this enterprising publishing policy did not extend to Bridge's orchestral music, and Comes the Mid of the Night, Isabella and the Dance Rhapsody remained in manuscript.6 The first full orchestral work to be published was The Sea, since it was included among the works chosen for the music publication scheme sponsored by the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust in 1917. Other composers represented were Stanford, Vaughan Williams, Howells, Boughton, Bainton and Bantock. As with the prize-winners for the first two Cobbett competitions, Stanford was pleased at this tribute to this teaching, since only Bantock had not been taught by him. He wrote, 'The old hen and her chickens have come out very well'.7 The Sea was issued in 1920, published by Stainer and Bell.

6 All three works were published by Faber in 2001, 1978 and 1977 respectively.
7 E Bainton in 'Sir Charles Stanford and his pupils', Royal College of Music Magazine, Vol 20, No 2, 1924, p 55.