Isolation: 74
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
Isolation: 75

By the time of these variations, Britten had begun to rebel. Bridge could not restrain himself from continuing to offer what he considered were constructive criticisms of Britten's new works as they appeared, but with On this Island (completed October 1937, with poems by Auden), Britten stuck up for himself for the first time, much to Bridge's mortification. 'He has gone beyond me', Bridge complained to Hiawatha Coleridge-Taylor.28 Bridge felt that Britten's increasing involvement with the Auden-Isherwood circle was not in his best interests; Britten disagreed, and was soon to follow Auden and Isherwood when they emigrated to America. At the farewell at Southampton (on 29 April 1939), Bridge presented Britten with his viola, a Giussani, so that, as Bridge wrote on the accompanying card, 'a bit of us accompanies you on your adventures'. But they never met again. Bridge died before Britten's return.

For a couple without children of their own, Britten was more than welcome in the Bridges' household. He filled to a considerable extent the place of the child that they were never fortunate enough to have,29 and they set aside one of their rooms at 'Friston Field' for him for his many visits. Bridge, in fact, called Britten his 'quasi-adopted son', and when Britten reached America, Bridge was very anxious that Mrs Coolidge should meet Britten through him, 'because he is a part of me'.30 Bridge's introduction of Britten to Mrs Coolidge led her to commission Britten's First String Quartet.

Other young musicians also made visits. Alan Bush, whose courageous performance of the Piano Sonata had caught Bridge's attention; Antonio Brosa, who played in the first performances of both the Second Piano Trio and the Second Violin Sonata; and Florence Hooton, who performed the solo cello part in Oration, all had pleasant memories of days spent at Friston. Britten would also bring down his friends from time to time; Remo Lauricella31 and Bernard Richards (see Isolation: 73), Henry Boys, Joan Cross and Peter Pears all met Bridge through Britten.

28 Interview, Hiawatha Coleridge-Taylor with Trevor Bray, 18 February 1977.
29 Ethel Bridge's operation, mentioned in a letter to Edward Speyer, dated 28 February 1912, and undergone in early March 1912, may well have been a hysterectomy.
30 Letter, Frank Bridge to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, 4 July 1939.
31 Britten always thought that he was Bridge's only composition pupil. However, Lauricella also had composition lessons from Bridge (Letter, Remo Lauricella to Trevor Bray, 9 March 1979), as did the American composer Bernard Rogers. The latter's lessons took place in 1925-6, and it was through the performance of a work written whilst with Bridge that Rogers was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Scholarship. (Letter, Frank Bridge to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, 1 August 1927. Bridge's facts appear to contradict those in the entries for Rogers in such music dictionaries as the New Grove II or The Oxford Dictionary of Music.)