Frank Bridge’s Three Songs for Medium Voice, Viola and Piano is the second volume in a 30-volume series by The Frank Bridge Trust in association with Thames Publishing, celebrating the works of Frank Bridge. This publication features the songs Far, far from each other, Where is it that our soul doth go? and Music when soft voices die and includes the score for Viola separately, making the collaboration of the three musicians easier. The songs can be –and often are – performed together, as a cycle, but also work as short, individual pieces. The first performance of the three songs in December 1908 marked a rare occurrence, as Frank Bridge played the Piano part himself.
Far, far from each other is the most ambitious of the three pieces for all three musicians. The words are excerpts from Matthew Arnold’s ‘Empedocles on Etna, and Other Poems Parting’.
Where is it that our soul doth go? is the shortest of the three songs and the words are a translation of the last stanza of Heinrich Heine’s Clarisse, translated by K. F. Kroeker.
While the first two songs are original settings, Bridge first wrote Music when soft voices die for High Voice, Piano and Cello in 1903. The present version was transcribed in 1907. Music when soft voices die, the short poem providing the words for this piece is one of the most influential and well-known of Shelley’s works.
Watch Three Songs performed by Rebecca Ringle (Mezzo-Soprano), Luke Fleming (Viola) and Roger Steptoe (Piano):