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Title graphic: Letters
3: Vienna - The dedication of Britten's Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge

Ethel Bridge, in Hanover visiting her sister, to Marjorie Fass, 23 September 1927

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 [Third String Quartet] 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 of 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 1/4 to 3!!!

Frank Bridge to Benjamin Britten, 16 March 1938

Hiawatha Coleridge-Taylor, Kathleen Markwell (his wife), Benjamin Britten, Ethel Bridge, Frank Bridge, 12 August 1935

Hiawatha Coleridge-Taylor, Kathleen Markwell (his wife), Benjamin Britten, Ethel Bridge and Frank Bridge, 12 August 1935.

Of course, at first glance I didn't really take it in - or even see clearly - what was in front of my eyes. But I have now. Your title page [of the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge] really touches me. I don't know how to express my appreciation in adequate terms. It is one of the few lovely things that has ever happened to me, and I feel the richer in spirit for it all, including the charming dedication ['to F.B., a tribute with affection and admiration'].

Thank you and thank you, Benjie. What a great pleasure! And ain't I glad 'I love the work itself'? I like to think of you just forging ahead and perhaps the most pleasant reflection is that you should have come into my life just when you did. Of course I should say our lives because Ethel and I are united in our devotion to you. God bless you, keep in good health.