Bridge, Frank: Four Songs
Introduction by Peter J. Pirie
Day after day (E – E)
Dweller in my deathless dreams (C – A)
Journey’s end (D – E)
Speak to me, my love (D – G)
‘Day after day’, ‘Dweller in my deathless dreams’ and ‘Speak to me, my love’ are available with orchestral accompaniment from our Rental Library
Bridge’s songs follow the general pattern of his musical development. The shadow of the Victorian smoking-room concert hangs over some of the earliest of them, but the three with poems by Rabindranath Tagore, included in this volume (Day after Day; Speak to me, my love!; Dweller in my Deathless Dreams), were written in the early twenties, and although they lack the tension and dissonance of the Piano Sonata, they have a sophistication of harmony and technique that links them with the slightly later tone poem There is a willow grows aslant a brook (Hire Ref HL37).
The song Journey’s End is an excellent example of Bridge’s more radical style. Its harmony is much more astringent than the colourful harmony of the Tagore songs, and the tension is greater. Humbert Wolfe’s daunting poem was also set by Gustav Holst (Ref B030) and it is instructive to compare these two superb settings. Holst is coldly, curtly indifferent, even to the chill final words ‘You are not called when journey’s done’. Bridge’s setting strains with anguished protest; the harmony sounds as if it were pulling itself apart.