Bridge, Frank: Romance and Valse Russe arr. for Viola and Piano
Nos. 4 and 7 of the Miniatures for Piano Trio arranged for Viola and Piano by Michael Lieberman
These transcriptions of two popular pieces (Nos. 4 and 7 of the Miniatures for violin, cello and piano) make available a pair of very charming and accessible works for Frank Bridge’s own instrument the viola. There are opportunities here in particular for soloists to display their powers of cantabile delivery in high and low registers, supported by a sensitive and atmospheric piano accompaniment.
The unfolding melody of the Romance conveys a graceful nostalgia suggestive of Tchaikovsky’s most intimate songs and short piano pieces. In the Valse Russe a flow of melody freighted with Slavic melancholy is faultlessly imagined by this most versatile of English twentieth-century composers.
Michael Lieberman’s polished translation of the Romance and Valse Russe into the new medium preserves all that is essential of the originals and adds idiomatic fingering and bowing to the viola part. These pieces, which are of around Grade V standard, are potential new material both for examinations and for the refreshment of recital programmes with authentic yet unfamiliar romantic repertoire.