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Ashley Wass - BRIDGE: Piano Music, Vol. 1

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BRIDGE: Piano Music, Vol. 1

BRIDGE: Piano Music, Vol. 1

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In the old music school game of "Name That Composer," this piano music disc would have stumped everyone. Go ahead -- start it anywhere and try to guess who it is. Is it Claude Debussy? Could be: the pellucid melodies and whole tone harmonies are the hallmarks of the French composer. Is it Alexander Scriabin? Could be: the rhapsodic forms and chromatic harmonies are the trademarks of the Russian composer. But while it could be Debussy or Scriabin, the composer is, in fact, Frank Bridge, the most cosmopolitan composer of the English revival of the early twentieth century. And although these works don't represent Bridge at his most characteristic -- try the slightly later sonata for that -- they do reveal a composer of astounding facility and astonishing sensitivity. Although one might guess that A Fairy Tale has enough warmth and whimsy to be by the composer of The Children's Corner, there is an undeniable Englishness in its cozy cadences and sepia-toned colors. And although one might guess that In Autumn has enough expressivity and sensuality to be by the composer of Vers la flamme, there is an indisputable Englishness in its restraint and decorum. It could be argued that pianist Ashley Wass, being himself from the Sceptred Isle, is responsible for the music's Englishness. But, beyond his superb technique, balanced tone, and natural feel for the idiom, Wass seems to be merely the medium through which the music passes and one never gets the sense that he is imposing his interpretations on Bridge's music. For fans of English music from the first half of the twentieth century, Bridge's piano music will be a treat. For everyone else, Bridge's piano music will be an unbeatable way to win at "Name That Composer." Naxos' sound is clear but a bit empty, clean but a tad vacant.
© TiVo

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BRIDGE: Piano Music, Vol. 1

Ashley Wass

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A Fairy Tale Suite (Frank Bridge)

1
I. The Princess: Allegretto con moto
00:02:49

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

2
II. The Ogre: Allegro deciso
00:01:25

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

3
III. The Spell: Adagio e sostenuto
00:04:13

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

4
IV. The Prince: Allegro giocoso
00:02:51

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

The Hour Glass (Frank Bridge)

5
I. Dusk: Molto moderato
00:04:58

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

6
II. The Dew Fairy: Allegretto moderato e rubato
00:03:48

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

7
III. The Midnight Tide: Molto lento
00:05:58

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Miniatures (Frank Bridge)

8
I. Allegretto con moto
00:02:18

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

9
II. Tempo di valse
00:02:09

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

10
III. Allegretto ben moderato
00:01:43

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

3 Lyrics (Frank Bridge)

11
No. 1. Heart's Ease: Andante tranquillo – Lento
00:02:34

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

12
No. 2. Dainty Rogue: Molto allegro e vivo
00:01:53

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

13
No. 3. The Hedgerow: Allegretto moderato
00:04:03

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

3 Pieces for Piano (Frank Bridge)

14
No. 1. Columbine: Poco lento – Tempo di Valse
00:02:55

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

15
No. 2. Minuet: Tempo di Minuetto
00:02:04

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

16
No. 3. Romance: Andante molto moderato
00:03:57

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

In Autumn (Frank Bridge)

17
I. Retrospect: Adagio ma non troppo
00:05:39

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

18
II. Through the Eaves: Allegro moderato e rubato
00:02:46

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

3 Poems (Frank Bridge)

19
No. 1. Solitude: Poco adagio e molto espressivo
00:03:21

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

20
No. 2. Ecstasy: Lento e sostenuto – Allegro con moto
00:04:38

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

21
No. 3. Sunset: Adagio e sostenuto
00:03:50

Frank Bridge, Composer - Ashley Wass, Performer

2006 Naxos 2006 Naxos

Descrizione dell'album

In the old music school game of "Name That Composer," this piano music disc would have stumped everyone. Go ahead -- start it anywhere and try to guess who it is. Is it Claude Debussy? Could be: the pellucid melodies and whole tone harmonies are the hallmarks of the French composer. Is it Alexander Scriabin? Could be: the rhapsodic forms and chromatic harmonies are the trademarks of the Russian composer. But while it could be Debussy or Scriabin, the composer is, in fact, Frank Bridge, the most cosmopolitan composer of the English revival of the early twentieth century. And although these works don't represent Bridge at his most characteristic -- try the slightly later sonata for that -- they do reveal a composer of astounding facility and astonishing sensitivity. Although one might guess that A Fairy Tale has enough warmth and whimsy to be by the composer of The Children's Corner, there is an undeniable Englishness in its cozy cadences and sepia-toned colors. And although one might guess that In Autumn has enough expressivity and sensuality to be by the composer of Vers la flamme, there is an indisputable Englishness in its restraint and decorum. It could be argued that pianist Ashley Wass, being himself from the Sceptred Isle, is responsible for the music's Englishness. But, beyond his superb technique, balanced tone, and natural feel for the idiom, Wass seems to be merely the medium through which the music passes and one never gets the sense that he is imposing his interpretations on Bridge's music. For fans of English music from the first half of the twentieth century, Bridge's piano music will be a treat. For everyone else, Bridge's piano music will be an unbeatable way to win at "Name That Composer." Naxos' sound is clear but a bit empty, clean but a tad vacant.
© TiVo

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