The Late Works: 78
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Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
The Late Works: 79

A thousand thanks for producing the Trio. I am longing to see it in print and send you a copy with the M.S. You must know how much I owe to you for this wonderful opportunity of spreading my wings. I see quite well that it is going to be increasingly difficult for people who have standardized their ideas as to what music is when they compare my work at 27 and that at 50, but that there can be any compromise between what is expected by others and what my instinct insists upon is an utter impossibility. The last few years have strengthened my mental powers - such as they are - to a degree that leaves them untouched by any outward manifestation. You will admit that it is a difficult moment when one reads the kind of personal slight that Hughes finds pleasure in doling out ad infinitum, but the effect is a momentary one. A kind of superficial sting in the flesh, but no more,5 and so - on with the next work.6

Mrs Coolidge's reply provides an indication of how she viewed her role in their relationship:

I am so glad that you are happy over the turn that things have taken since our concert in Vienna and am very thankful that I have been the fortunate instrument through which you are 'spreading your wings'. I do not want you to thank me any more than I should thank you. Let us both thank the Lord that you have been endowed with the gift and that I have been endowed with the material means to make possible the creation and performance (and growing appreciation) of your works. And I truly want you to feel that we are not serving each other in so doing but that we are both serving art. In this I do consider that we are both fortunate for between us we are enriching the world and while we can both realize and appreciate that let us not mind the opinion of Mr Hughes or anyone else upon the subject. I am sure we shall both accomplish more and reach a more solid satisfaction if we can make it as impersonal an achievement as I know we both consider it to be.7

5 Bridge is referring to the review by Herbert Hughes, see Isolation: 64, which, in fact, caused him a great deal of pain.
6 Letter, Frank Bridge to Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, 8 November 1929.
7 Letter, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge to Frank Bridge, 21 November 1929.