Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:

BBC Music Magazine (10/2019)
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Appréciation d'ensemble / Overall evaluation :

Reviewer: Nicholas Anderson

Gottfried Finger was a contemporary and compatriot of Biber. Born in about 1660 he was in England by the mid-1680s, when he became part of the équipe of the Roman Catholic chapel of James II. However, perhaps as a result of his coming last – probably unjustly – in a prize competition in 1700 to determine the best composer in England, Finger left for Germany where he died in 1730.

These sonatas reveal Finger as an imaginative composer with interestingly wide terms of reference. As we might expect, Corelli and the Italians provide the prevailing role model, but in the case of the first of three A major sonatas the strongest kinship is with Biber. It is the only work here, Hazel Brooks helpfully remarks, that is preserved in a single source. Elsewhere among the Sonatas there is plentiful variety in character and in form.

Brooks is a great enthusiast for Finger’s music, as is evident from her engaging and well written essay and amply confirmed in the expressive delicacy of her playing. Felicitous examples abound: for instance, in the lightly-bowed unaccompanied opening of the second A major Sonata, and the well-judged tempos of the many dance measures. David Pollock’s discreet and sympathetic continuo support sets the seal on a rewarding recital.


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