Frank Bridge’s “Enter Spring”: The Symphonic Poem as a Force of Nature

Enter Spring, a shimmering orchestral tone poem by the English composer Frank Bridge (1879-1941), blossoms like a force of nature. It evokes the bright colors, turbulent majesty, and joyful sense of renewal we associate with the seasonal change from winter to spring. It grows out of the English countryside— specifically the green rolling hills and chalk cliffs of Bridge’s native Sussex Downs on England’s south coast. But its harmonic language is also surprisingly daring, at moments veering towards the chromaticism of Alban Berg and the Second Viennese School or the exotic impressionism of Ravel. This is music filled with raw, primal energy.

The 13-year-old Benjamin Britten attended the work’s premiere at the Norwich Triennial Festival on October 27, 1927. He was “knocked sideways” by the piece, which he described as a “riot of colour and harmony.” Frank Bridge became Britten’s teacher, mentor, and close friend.

In the frolicking opening bars, a cast of musical characters come to life and enter into an exuberant conversation. Soaring musical vistas unfold into pastoral birdsongs. Enter Spring concludes with an exhilarating and triumphant peal of bells.

Five Great Recordings

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

Leave a Comment