The Late Works: 88
Site Map
Title graphic: Frank Bridge: A Life in Brief
The Late Works: 89

It was not long before Mrs Coolidge renewed her efforts to secure a performance. She arranged for the American première to take place at the Ninth Berkshire Festival, Pittsfield, on 21 September (1934), performed by Kroll and Frank Sheridan, and, for the occasion, Bridge visited America for the fourth time. Mrs Coolidge no longer lived at South Mountain, Pittsfield, but moved from hotel to hotel as the need arose, and Bridge followed suit, staying for the most part in Pittsfield and New York. This visit was less hectic than the previous ones - both Mrs Coolidge and Bridge admitted to feeling their age a little - and Bridge was free to make his own plans for part of the time. He had a chance to renew acquaintance with his many New York friends, in particular Hartwell Cabell, with thom he stayed, and a four-hour tour of the NBC studios in Cabell's company led, in November, to an hour's broadcast of some of Bridge's earlier works.

Mrs Coolidge renewed her support for the Violin Sonata the following year. After some hesitation, she finally decided to visit Europe in the spring, and Bridge met her in Brussels on 10 May, ready to escort her to England two days later. Meanwhile, they attended the Brussels Exposition, travelling twice round the exhibits on a miniature railway, and also met Joseph Jongen, the Belgian composer. The arrival in England was undertaken in style, with a Daimler waiting at Dover (previously arranged by Bridge) to transport them to Friston. A 'jolly lot of sprees' ensued during the week's visit, including a short stay in London at the Park Lane Hotel (also previously arranged by Bridge), during which Mrs Coolidge threw a party with Bridge's Violin Sonata included in the musical entertainment. Bridge was disappointed with this performance, which must have piqued Mrs Coolidge, because in his first letter to her after her return to America, he explained at far too great a length what went wrong: