A Bohemian in London: Violin Sonatas by Gottfried Finger / Duo Dorado

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Gottfried Finger was a Moravian composer and virtuoso viol player. Born in Olomouc, in the modern-day Czech Republic, and arriving in England in 1685, Finger worked for the court of James II before becoming a freelance composer. Hazel Brooks has spent a great deal of time researching the music for this recording, all of which may be found in the British Library manuscript Add. 31466, the single biggest source of violin sonatas by Finger. She writes: ‘Finger’s sonatas contain a quirky mix of styles. Bohemian features from his homeland, simpler Corellian traits, and the occasional nod to the English Purcellian school are fitted together like crazy paving. This is what gives them their unique charm. Many are made up of contrasting short sections rather than separate movements, sometimes linked by short passages for basso continuo alone, both features characteristic of the Biber school. Finger left a large number of sonatas for violin and basso continuo. We performed them all, immersing ourselves in the style, and this recording presents the finest selection from his output. Because he is known principally for his copious published recorder pieces, aimed at the amateur market, Finger has sometimes been dismissed as a composer of trivial, unadventurous music. I hope that this recording will help to change that mindset, so that Finger finally receives the recognition he deserves.’



Brooks and her keyboard partner David Pollock provide thoroughly clean and competent performances, respectful of the music and careful of overbearing it with excessive ornamentation and other additions – which is not to say that Pollock’s continuo-playing does not succeed in finding variety from just a harpsichord and a firmly focused chamber organ. Not compulsory listening really, but certainly a well-executed presentation.

– Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Release Date: August 23, 2019

  • Catalog Number: CHAN 0824

  • UPC: 095115082423

  • Label: Chandos

  • Number of Discs: 1