Mrs Coolidge and the American Experience: 48
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Mrs Coolidge and the American Experience: 49

This depressing mood continued next day.

We are feeling 'fed up' too, to think after all the [Robert] Newman pretensions to thinking a lot of Franco['s conducting] for the Q[ueen's] H[all] Popular concerts and yet Goosie [Goossens] again gets the 'biscuit'. As he will be over here for the next couple of months it works out that Wood and German get the 5 concerts before Xmas and Goosie 5 after. I don't think this world wants anything but stunts, its only a few of us want the genuine thing and p'raps we are all wrong and they are right, anyhow both of us are very 'ratty' today and it is our own faults. I expect that orchestral jobs and commissions for work, etc, don't come our way. The performance of the 6tet wasn't as good as it ought to have been and so far, I call the programme not 1st rate ... [Frank's] reception was most cordial, but the crowd only follows where its told to, because if they liked it yesterday what would they say if they heard the  E[nglish]  S[tring] Q[uartet] do it! There's no quartet here as good as the old E.S.Q. who at any rate gave one the music and yet Franco says, 'Not another day will I play the viola if I can help', but I see nothing ahead of us but his doing so and teaching and conducting amateur orchestras. I feel I almost want him to miss doing the A[udrey] C[hapman] O[rchestra]11 concerts on 15 and 16th of Dec. as it seems a shame to only have that to go back to doesn't it! I can see us shutting up or letting No. 4 [Bedford Gardens] and living at Fripon12 so that he need do nothing but try to write.13

The Bridges' view of the Sextet's performance was not shared by all. Richard Aldrich, whom Bridge visited a few days previously and liked very much, wrote in the New York Times:

Mr Bridge is by no means one of the extreme moderns. He has not thrown overboard the ideals of beauty and coherency that have been cherished up to the present time. His quartet [sic] 'sounds' beautifully and with a luxurious richness in which all the resources of the six strings contribute. The performance ... was much applauded, and Mr Bridge was called to the platform. 14

11 For the Audrey Chapman Orchestra, see Isolation: 67
12 Abbreviation for Friston Pond.
13 Letter, Ethel Bridge to Marjorie Fass, 26-8 September 1923.
14 New York Times, 28 September 1923.