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NED ROREM End of Summer; Book of Hours; Bright Music
The Fibonacci Sequence
Naxos 8.559128 [59:59]

It has been a pleasure to have reviewed the inaugural concert of The Fibonacci Sequence, and to have followed its progress over the years.

Kathron Sturrock's energy and enthusiasm, and particular flair for programme building, has brought her team of finest free lance musicians to achieve a distinctive niche presence in British concert life. That first concert set a pattern of exploration, but with accessibility for non-specialist audiences a priority over 'cutting edge' modernity.

Ned Rorem (b.1923) is a suitable choice for their attention and here are in Naxos's American Classics series are three contrasted works of his, dating from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. A prolific composer, who has known both fame and disappointment, Rorem complained not long ago that he felt himself marginalised. He has gained approval for his numerous songs, but some chamber operas fared less well recently in London.

Book of Hours for flute and harp, the duo complementing each other rather than in opposition, takes the canonical times from Matins to Compline in 11 short, characterful movements. Kathron Sturrock (who is often too self-effacing in concert) takes part in the clarinet, violin and piano trio End of Summer, which deserves a regular place in recital programmes alongside Bartok's for the same instrumentation. Bright Music brings together flute, 2 violins, cello and piano in a Fandango, and works on such disparate stimuli as Picasso's Pierrot and the finale of Chopin's Bb minor sonata.

A rich and varied brew, with Robert Matthew-Walker as your reliable guide to put Rorem and these works into proper context - sparkling performances, excellent recording and production - these 59 minutes and 59 seconds are worth anyone's £5.99.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Read further about The Fibonacci Sequence at http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/Nov99/fibonacci.htm
and try their admired Rawsthorne CD ASV CD DCA1061
Explore Ned Rorem's songs with Susan Graham at http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2000/june00/rorem.htm

© Peter Grahame Woolf