Isolation: 72
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Isolation: 73

Bridge would also give Britten presents of scores including those of his own compositions, which the latter would study, and, where possible, perform. During 1932, Britten, Remo Lauricella (violin) and Bernard Richards (cello) spent a considerable time rehearsing Bridge's Piano Quintet, Phantasy Piano Quartet and new Piano Trio before joining the Bridges for a musical weekend from 22-24 July, the missing parts supplied by Ethel (second violin) and Bridge (viola). For the Trio, Bridge provided some coaching. Subsequently, when Britten was invited to conduct at the Queen's Hall Proms for the first time, directing his Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Bridge supplied Britten with some conducting coaching too. Britten had actually experienced the receiving end of Bridge's baton on several occasions since Bridge asked him to play percussion in the Audrey Chapman Orchestra from time to time.

By becoming Bridge's pupil, Britten gained admittance into the wide circle of friends and musicians surrounding Bridge, and could experience at first hand the life-style of a distinguished professional musician, a player, conductor and composer. And not only could he benefit from Bridge's many years of experience in a whole host of musical matters, but in other ways too. Bridge would drive Britten around the Sussex downland countryside opening his eyes to its great beauty; they often played tennis together, Bridge the proud possessor of his own tennis court at 'Friston Field'; they could talk and talk, Bridge sympathetic to many of Britten's deeply-held views. One such was socialism, another pacifism, and with the latter Bridge refrained from forcing Britten into a blanket acceptance of his ideas, but made him argue and argue. Britten considered subsequently that the feelings that inspired his War Requiem were partly derived from Bridge. The only major bone of contention was Mahler. Bridge could endorse the pun in Britten's 'Mahler is Mahlervous', but not the sentiment (which nonetheless did not prevent him from buying Britten the score of Mahler's Fifth Symphony as a Christmas present in 1936).