East Finchley Arts Festival – Duo Dorado

Sonata in F, Op.5/10
Sonata in G minor
Sonata in E minor, RV17a
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I – Prelude and Fugue in C, BVW846
Sonata in D

Duo Dorado [Hazel Brooks (baroque violin) & David Pollock (harpsichord)]

Reviewed by: Kenneth Carter

Reviewed: 4 October, 2008
Venue: All Saints, Durham Road, East Finchley, London

Hazel Brooks & David Pollock. ©2007 Duo DoradoThis is the Seventh East Finchley Arts Festival, held at All Saints parish church, through its Director of Music, Geoffrey Hanson.

All Saints is a splendid building – Victorian, red-brick and with huge perpendicular-style windows east and west. It is wide and imposing, yet, inside, surprisingly welcoming – combining intimacy and grandeur. Not only is the building something of a tour de force architecturally, associated with Anthony Salvin – its acoustics are clear and enviable. In 1958 it was host to Benjamin Britten, who with the specially founded Finchley Children’s Music Group gave the first London performance of “Noye’s Fludde”.

This concert from Duo Dorado made an unceremonious yet refined opening to the festival with some lively, shimmering early 18th-century music. Croft and Vivaldi were exact contemporaries (born 1678) as were Bach and Handel seven years later. David Pollock’s harpsichord gave us a sparkling, silvery sound, crystal clear with a modest yet ringing tone, delightfully audible. We heard all this to especially good effect in Bach’s C major Prelude and Fugue.

Hazel Brooks played her baroque violin with controlled, nimble-fingered vigour. Her Corelli was sober and somewhat austere, a little northern. However, she produced a gently beguiling, laid-back pace and tone for the Englishman, William Croft, and a spectacular, splendid flurry of notes in the Vivaldi, displaying the flourish and technique of a virtuoso. The concluding Handel sonata was warm and vigorous.

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