Mrs Coolidge and the American Experience: 59
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Mrs Coolidge and the American Experience: 60

By the next year the situation looked much more hopeful. For the autumn of 1927, Mrs Coolidge arranged a series of concerts throughout Europe, a type of mobile festival, and Bridge's quartet received performances at Vienna on 17 September and at Paris on 16 October. The Rosé String Quartet had been booked for Vienna and the Pro Arte for Paris, although it was decided finally that the Kolisch String Quartet should give the first performance. A better choice could hardly be envisaged, considering this quartet's involvement with the more radical music of the time, including that of Schoenberg, and indeed it was this quartet who gave the première of Schoenberg's Third String Quartet, another work commissioned by Mrs Coolidge, two days after Bridge's quartet was given. Bridge was pleased with the performance of his work: 'And after all the thing came off that much better than my innate pessimism promised. Small audience but most attentive'.37 The middle movement was warmly applauded.

The Bridges stayed in Vienna for the Schoenberg première, and were introduced not only to Schoenberg but also to Respighi, who was attending the festival in Vienna as well. The social life was almost as demanding and exhausting as the new music being performed. According to Ethel:

Frank will have an amusing story to tell you of our last night in Vienna and the complications that arose with the Respighi's asking us out after the Opera and Susan [Mrs Coolidge] appearing on the scene!! They left by motor for Prague and the 2nd concert there is tomorrow and then they go to Berlin. She [Mrs Coolidge] invited us there as it is only 3½ or 4 hours from here but we don't want to go and aren't. The Schoenberg is too much to hear again so soon. He had the most marvellous reception at Vienna which was glorious for him as he's evidently had the hardest time there and left it for Berlin. Now they treat him like a god. You'll like him and his wife immensely and they are coming to see us in London next January or Feb.

There was a ripping farewell party at a Viennese restaurant given the last night after the concert, by the Schoenbergs and we were given specially cooked 'specialities' ... I went home early, but Franco stayed out and went to a deadly boring dance place till ¼ to 3!!!38

37 Letter, Frank Bridge to Marjorie Fass, 18 September 1927.
38 Letter, Ethel Bridge to Marjorie Fass, 23 September 1927.