Excerpt from
'Nocturnes – Five Pieces for Piano' (1981)

Introduction

Click above to find works by Douglas Finch, including audio excerpts and programme notes. To play the audio files, open this site in any Web browser (except Google Chrome). Scores not available at the Canadian Music Centre can be requested by emailing douglasfinch@btinternet.com.

Alternatively, download a catalogue:

"Finch’s vivid imagination, thoughtfulness, and adept pianism radiate from every page of the score." - Everett Hopfner on 'Preludes and Afterthoughts - Fantasy-transcriptions on Chopin's Preludes op. 28'

"If one is to generalise about the range of Finch’s music, one might observe a simultaneous attraction to the harsh, austere and irascible, and also the possibilities of finding forms of musical expression exhibiting empathy and compassion whilst maintaining a pared-down language so as to avoid lapsing into sentimental clichés." - Ian Pace

Read more comments on Douglas Finch's music:

Ian Pace

"Works such as Lyric (1984) or Ruins (1984) resonate somewhat with some of the music of both Galina Ustvolskaya and the later Morton Feldman, in terms of the perceptions of time and repetition as well as through types of pained lyricism, which are nonetheless an entirely individual and personal matter in Finch’s works.

"The security with which he inhabits this broad idiom enables a wide range of invention, ranging from the gnomic, terse but penetrating utterances of Illuminations (1995-96, revised 2007) through to the expansive quasi-romanticism of the earlier Fantasy on a Russian Folksong (1989). Yet the very fact of not essentially stepping outside the boundaries of relatively ‘traditional’ varieties of instrumental employment, as well as the maintenance of other aspects of received idioms, serve as a means of allowing expressive coherence at the same time as maintaining a degree of estrangement and defamiliarisation." - Ian Pace, from an article in the programme for 'Illuminations – Douglas Finch at 50 – Works from 1986-2007', Thursday 27 September, 2007, Blackheath Concert Halls, London

Michael Church

“Douglas Finch may derive his inspiration ostensibly from remote places, but what his art radiates is an intensely personal vision. The patterns and textures of his music draw us into a world whose beauty keeps us gently spellbound: this is an endlessly beguiling place to dwell.” - Michael Church, The Independent, May 2016

Bruce Reader

[Douglas Finch is] "a composer who has developed his own distinctive language with impressive results, creating landscapes that are elusive yet intensely enveloping" - Bruce Reader, ClassicalReviewer.com

Finch's CD, 'Inner Landscapes - Piano and Chamber Music 1984-2013' was released in 2016 on the Prima Facie label.

Forthcoming music
2018 - Vancouver Early Music - Chorale-Threnody

Douglas Finch has received a commission from the Vancouver Symphony’s New Music Festival, 2018. The piece will be performed on January 19th by Vancouver Early Music in a programme “New Music for Early Instruments”, celebrating the music of J.S.Bach and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the castle chapel in the German town of Wittenberg. The new piece will be based on Douglas Finch's earlier work 'Chorale-Threnody for Erhu and Piano', which itself is based on Bach’s Fugue no. 8 in D# minor, WTC Bk.1, and scored for Flute, string quintet and harpsichord. The programme will also feature Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto and pieces by Gyorgy Ligeti, Jocelyn Morlock, Rodney Sharman and Bramwell Tovey.

2018 - Megumi Masaki (piano) & Sigi Torinus (new media) - Epiphanies - On reading Alice Munro

Douglas Finch has been commissioned to produce a work for piano and video in collaboration with Canadian pianist Megumi Masaki. A workshop on it was held at the Brandon New Music Festival, Manitoba in 2017.

Solo Piano
Fantasy on Themes by Arthur Bliss

Commissioned by Michael Corby for the occasion of Ronald Stevenson’s 80th birthday

Four Pieces (August 2004)

1 Invention

2 Intermezzo ('Claire de Lune')

3 Gamelan

4 Serenade

Hommage à Satie
Illuminations - 12 Pieces for Piano after Rimbaud

1 Mystic

2 Flowers

3 Marine

4 After the Deluge

5 Dawn

6 Vigils

7 Cities

8 Night

9 Fairy

10 War

11 Genie

12 Departure

Ode to Sun Ra

In 'Elena Riu's R&B Collection', commissioned and edited by Elena Riu

Lyric
  • Composed: 1984
  • Duration: 7 mins
  • Première: Douglas Finch. University of Brandon, Brandon, 30 Nov 1984
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

    Lyric. Piano: Douglas Finch

  • Programme note - Lyric (docx)
Nocturnes - Five Pieces for Piano

1 Very slow; radiantly and mysteriously

2 Quasi minuetto. Moderately and delicately

3 Alla marcia

4 Cold, distant

5 Very freely and gently

  • Composed: 1981
  • Duration: 9 mins
  • Première: Douglas Finch. Art Gallery, Winnipeg, 12 Jan 1982
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

Nocturnes - 1 Very slow; radiantly and mysteriously

Nocturnes - 2 Quasi minuetto. Moderately and delicately

Nocturnes - 3 Alla marcia

Nocturnes - 4 Cold, distant

Nocturnes - 5 Very freely and gently

Preludes and Afterthoughts - Fantasy-transcriptions on Chopin's Preludes op. 28

1 Premonition

2 Memory 1

3 Dream

4 Whirlwinds and Sighs

5 Memory 2

6 Dirge-Canon

7 Rounds

  • Composed: 2011
  • Duration: 17 mins
  • Première: with dance, Laban Theatre, Greenwich, 14 June 2010, Susan Sentler choreographer. First performance for piano alone: Douglas Finch. Chetham's International Festival, Manchester, 26 August 2011. Canadian tour of eleven cities including Toronto (Hart House) and Calgary (Eckhardt-Gramatte Concert Hall): Everett Hopfner. 10 November 2013
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

    Preludes and Afterthoughts - Fantasy-transcriptions on Chopin's Preludes op. 28

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Douglas Finch (piano), at the É-Gré Competition Gala Concert, Lorne Watson Concert Hall, University of Brandon, Brandon, Manitoba, 3 May 2013
  • Preludes and Afterthoughts... A personal view by Everett Hopfner (docx)
  • Programme note - Preludes and Afterthoughts (docx)

Signal House
  • Composed: 2008
  • Duration: 2 mins
  • Première: Douglas Finch. Malaysian Winter Academy, Menuhin School, December 2010
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
Sonata for Piano
  • Composed: 1980
  • Duration: 8 mins
  • Première: Douglas Finch. Winnipeg, 12 Jan 1982
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

    Sonata for Piano

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Douglas Finch (piano), live on CBC Radio, on the 'Two New Hours' programme, 1982
  • Programme note - Sonata for Piano (docx)
Tango
  • Composed: 1986
  • Duration: 2.30 mins
  • Première: Yvar Mikhashoff. Toronto, 31 Jan 1987
  • Available from: Douglas Finch (see Three Pieces for Piano)
  • Programme note - Tango (docx)
The Enchanted Mesa
Three Chorales
  • Composed: 2013
  • Duration: 13 mins
  • Premières: Douglas Finch. Chorale 1: Westben Festival, Ontario, July 2003. Chorales 2 and 3: Lorne Watson Concert Hall, University of Brandon, 11 March, 2014
  • Available from: CMC
  • Programme note - Three Chorales (docx)
Three Pieces for Piano

1 Hommage à Satie (1980), commissioned by the Juilliard Dance Ensemble

2 Tango (1986)

3 The Enchanted Mesa (1990)

Toccata Montuna

In 'Salsa Nueva', commissioned and edited by Elena Riu

Ucluelet (Landscape IV)
Variations on a Theme of Brahms
  • Composed: 1984-85
  • Duration: 15 mins
  • Première: Hilda Chun-Ching Wu. CBC Manitoba recorded broadcast, 1985
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
Yeibichai (Night Chant)

1 With beauty may I walk

2 The land trembles

3 Lament

  • Composed: 1991-93
  • Duration: 23 mins
  • Premières: Douglas Finch. Movement 1: Vestry Hall, London College of Music, 3 May, 1994. Movements 2 and 3: Eva Claire Hall, University of Manitoba, 1 December, 1991
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

Yeibichai - 1 With beauty may I walk

Yeibichai - 2 The land trembles

Yeibichai - 3 Lament

  • About these clips: Performed by Douglas Finch (piano)

Chamber Music

Piano duet (four hands)

Moeleilio
Son – Invencion

Written for Elena Riu

  • Composed: 2005
  • Duration: 4 mins
  • Première: Douglas Finch, Elena Riu. New Quays Festival, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 2005
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Programme note - Son - Invencion (docx)

Rossinyols - Fantasy-transcription on 'La Maja el Ruiseñor' from Goyescas

Written for José Menor & Clare Simmonds in celebration of their wedding.

Multiple pianos

Hapsburg Burlesques for Two Pianos

1 Love and Dreams

2 Little Waltz-Labyrinth

3 Where Can We Go?

Landscape I for Two Pianos
  • Composed: 1993
  • Duration: 8 mins
  • Première: Douglas Finch, Dietmar Schmuecker. Vancouver, 13 Feb 1994
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

    Landscape I for Two Pianos

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Douglas Finch and Dietmar Schmuecker at the Vancouver New Music ‘Big Bang’ Festival, East Cultural Centre, Vancouver, 1 April, 1995
Little Waltz-Labyrinth for Two Pianos
Invention for Two Pianos
Morgenrot...Abendglühn – Fantasy on the ‘Schweizerpsalm’ for Six Pianos
  • Composed: 1995
  • Duration: 4 mins
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Listen:

    Morgenrot...Abendglühn

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Andrew Blakemore, Philip Cornwell, Kit Massey, Elizabeth Richards, Ian Tripp and Christopher Stokes at Jaques Samuel Pianos, London, 4 April 2005

Instrumental

Chorale–Threnody for Erhu and Piano
  • Composed: 2013-14
  • Duration: 7.30 mins
  • Première: Nicole Li (erhu) and Corey Hamm (piano). Sound of Dragon Festival, Roundhouse, Vancouver, 11 May 2014
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Programme note - Chorale-Threnody (docx)
Fantasy on a Russian Folksong for Piano, Violin and Cello
Landscape II for String Quartet

Commissioned by Gesine Lang on the occasion of Gesine's and Peter's 25th wedding anniversary.

  • Composed: 1994
  • Duration: 10.40 mins
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

    Landscape II for String Quartet

  • About this audio clip: Performed by David LePage (violin 1), Chris George (violin 2), Malcolm Alison (viola), Matthew Sharp (cello), at St. Mary’s Perivale Church, Ealing, London, June, 1997

Landscape III for Violin and Piano
  • Composed: 1998
  • Duration: 6.20 mins
  • Première: Mieko Kanno (violin), Douglas Finch (piano). St. Giles Cripplegate, London, 30 April 1998
  • Available from: CMC
  • Watch:
Landscape VI for Clarinet, Cello and Piano

Commissioned by The Pacific Clarinet Trio

  • Composed: 2015-16
  • Available from: Douglas Finch

Lamentations for Alto Flute, Violin and Piano
  • Composed: 2001, revised 2007
  • Duration: 9 mins
  • Première: Lisa Nelsen (alto flute), Kirsty Staines (violin), Douglas Finch (piano). The Warehouse, London, 7 November 2001
  • Available from: CMC
  • Programme note - Lamentations for Alto Flute, Violin and Piano (docx)
  • Arranged: for Violin, Viola and Piano 2015
  • Premiere: Katie Meyers (violin), Henrietta Hill (viola), Clare Simmonds (piano). Milton Court Concert Hall, London, 1 June 2015
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Listen:

    Lamentations arranged for Violin, Viola and Piano

Ruins – Five Pieces for Flute, Violin and Piano
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano

1 Molto Lento

2 Allegretto

  • Composed: 1986
  • Duration: 12 mins
  • Première: Vincent Ellin (bassoon), Douglas Finch (piano). Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1986
  • Available from: Douglas Finch

Souvenir – Little Fantasy on Beethoven’s Trio op. 11 for Clarinet and Piano
  • Composed: 1994
  • Duration: 3 mins
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
Suite for Flute and Cello

Commissioned by cellist and mathematician Lon Rosen, for him and his wife Marilyn to perform on their first wedding anniversary

1 Prelude

2 Serenade

3 Interlude

4 Nocturne

5 Variations

6 March

  • Composed: 1995
  • Duration: 13 mins
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Listen:

    Suite for Flute and Cello - 1 Prelude, 2 Serenade, 5 Variations

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Lisa Nelson (flute) and Joseph Spooner (cello)
  • Programme note - Suite for Flute and Cello (docx)

Summer for Cello and Piano
  • Composed: 1993
  • Duration: 2.30 mins
  • Première: Jennifer Lloyd (cello), Philip Headlam (piano). Regent Hall, London, 22 October 1994
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Programme note - Summer (docx)
Orchestra and Large Ensemble

Orchestra

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

1 Moderato - poco piu mosso

2 With a dream-like atmosphere

3 Vivace

  • Composed: 1985-87
  • Duration: 25 mins
  • UK Première: Aleksander Szram (piano), with St Paul's Sinfonia conducted by Andrew Morley. The Broadway Theatre, Catford, June 2009
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Listen:

    Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - 2 With a dream-like atmosphere

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Aleksander Szram (piano), with St Paul's Sinfonia conducted by Andrew Morley
  • Programme note - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (docx)

Dreams of Quetzalcoatl for Chamber Orchestra
  • Composed: 1994
  • Duration: 14 mins
  • Première: Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra Composer's Workshop, April 1994
  • Available from: CMC
  • Listen:

    Dreams of Quetzalcoatl for Chamber Orchestra

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra conducted by Glen Mossop
  • Instrumentation: 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl (2nd doubling bcl), 2 bsn, 2 hn, 2 tpt, tbn, perc (timp, bdr, wood block, xyl, vib), strings
  • Programme note - Dreams of Quetzalcoatl for Chamber Orchestra (docx)
Landscape V "...brouillards" for String Orchestra
  • Composed: 2002
  • Duration: 7 mins
  • Première: Trinity String Ensemble. The Chapel, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, 30 April, 2002
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Listen:

    Landscape V "...brouillards" for String Orchestra.

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Trinity String Ensemble conducted by Nic Pendlebury
  • Programme note - Landscape V (docx)
Night Love Song - Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra
  • Composed: 2011-12
  • Duration: 17 mins
  • Première: Rivka Golani (viola), with Canadian Sinfonietta conducted by Tak-Ng Lai. Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, 24 November, 2012. UK Première: Rivka Golani (viola), with St Paul's Sinfonia conducted by Andy Morley. St Alfege's Church, Greenwich, 19 May 2017.
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Instrumentation: solo viola, flute, oboe, bass clarinet, horn, percussion (one player) and strings
  • Programme note - Night Love Song - Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra (docx)

Large Ensemble

Chamber Concerto
  • Composed: 1991-92
  • Duration: 19 mins
  • Première: Douglas Finch (piano), with faculty and students from the University of British Columbia, conducted by Owen Underhill. School of Music, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 19 November 1992
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Instrumentation: piano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, horn, violin, viola, cello and bass
  • Programme note - Chamber Concerto (docx)
Song of Alcestis for 8 Cellos and Soprano
  • Composed: 2007
  • Duration: 10 mins
  • Première: Trinity Cello Ensemble, with Alessia Mankovskaya (soprano), conducted by Richard Markson. Chipping Camden Festival, June 2008
  • Available from: Douglas Finch
  • Listen:

    Song of Alcestis for 8 Cellos and Soprano

  • About this audio clip: Performed by Trinity Cello Ensemble, with Alessia Mankovskaya (soprano), conducted by Richard Markson
  • Programme note - Song of Alcestis (docx)
Miscellany

Cello

Sonata for Solo Cello

1 Andante, espressivo

2 Moderato, deciso

3 Allegro

  • Composed: 1991-92
  • Duration: 18 mins
  • Available from: Douglas Finch

Morning Song for Solo Cello
  • Composed: 2007
  • Duration: 3.30 mins
  • Available from: Douglas Finch

Guitar

Dreams of Quetzalcoatl for Solo Guitar

Commissioned by the Swiss mathematician and guitarist Eugene Trubowitz

Vocal

Three Songs on Poems by Bernard Leach

1 Autumn

2 The Lonely Wind

3 Venus on the Wave

  • Composed: 1985, revised 1993
  • Duration: 5 mins
  • Première: Linda Hirst (voice), Douglas Finch (piano), Peacock Room, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, 2008
  • Available from: Douglas Finch

 

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Photography: Geoff Janes, Photo Symphonic