52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Gottfried FINGER (1655-1730)
A Bohemian in London: Violin Sonatas
Sonata in E, RI 132 (No.53) [6:16]
Sonata in A, RI 119 (No.7) [7:00]
Sonata in D, RI 129 (No.9) [6:05]
Sonata in B-flat, RI 125 (No.45) [8:02]
Sonata in B-flat, RI 124 (No.46) [5:06]
Sonata in F, RI 136 (No.47) [5:42]
Sonata in A, RI 120 (No.23) [5:37]
Sonata in b minor, RI 122a (No.14) [6:36]
Sonata in A, RI 118 (No.6) [5:51]
Sonata in F, RI 137 (No.54) [7:51]
Sonata in D, RI 113 (No.15) [3:08]
Sonata in E, RI 134 (No.51) [3:38]
Sonata in F, RI 135 (No.52) [6:36]
Duo Dorado
rec. 2016, St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, Hampshire
CHANDOS CHAN0824 [78:00]

There’s no torrent of music by Gottfried Finger as yet, but there is more than a trickle. He’s been featured in recitals in the recent past, a situation more palatable than the days when the only way you’d hear anything of his was via the radio, and then rarely. This makes the arrival of these thirteen sonatas performed on this disc by Duo Dorado all the more welcome, especially as violinist Hazel Brooks suggests that there are altogether only 20 extant violin sonatas by him.

Finger worked in Purcell’s London and remains notorious for ‘arguing with the referee’ when his 1701 setting of Congreve’s The Judgement of Paris came last in a competition won by John Weldon. Whether this was a home-town decision will probably never be known, as Finger’s score is lost, but so hard did he take it that he promptly left the country.

The individual movements of the sonatas are not separately tracked here so ‘listening through’ is the order of the day, and the more one does so the more one appreciates the cut of Finger’s jib. Clearly, he knew the music of his almost exact contemporary Corelli, as there are indications throughout, whether in slithers of slow introductions or in faster, more virtuosic passages, that he had absorbed elements of the Italian style. He can write slightly bumptious fast movements as well as plangent slow ones, dancing Allegros, and expressive long-breathed melodies – try the sonata RI 136, tracked sixth – just as much as he can present what sounds like a popular song, with decorations, and some Purcellian adjuncts too (listen to RI 120, track seven).

Then, too, there is the boldness of the cadential opening of RI 118 (track nine) and the folkloric suggestiveness embedded in RI 137, the brief bipartite charms of RI 134 (track twelve) or the pleasurably attractive thematic components of the final sonata in the recital, R1 135.

Brooks and David Pollock play with great clarity and directness. The performances are cannily varied with Pollock playing either a double-manual harpsichord, a 1999 replica of a Ruckers-Hemsch, or a continuo organ of 2007. This ensures that colours are never static, with, in the main, two harpsichord-accompanied sonatas followed by two organ-accompanied ones. Decoration is sparingly used. The Duo brings this music valuably to life and shows that Finger’s is a voice that deserves to be heard.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Brian Wilson

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger