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The Fibonacci Sequence 10th Anniversary Extravaganza
St John's Smith Square, London 8 November 2004

Stephanie Gonley, Ursula Gough, Jack Liebeck violins Yuko Inoue viola Andrew Fuller cello Duncan McTier double bass
Ileana Ruhemann flute Chris O'Neal oboe Julian Farrell clarinet Richard Skinner bassoon Steve Stirling horn
Paul Archibald trumpet Gillian Tingay harp Kathron Sturrock piano Christine Cairns mezzo-soprano

Strauss arr. Hasenöhrl Till Eulenspiegel - einmal anders
Mozart G minor piano quartet
Cecilia McDowall The Night Trumpeter
Mahler arr. Matthews Rückert Lieder 

A full day of partying culminated with an evening concert of arrangements for various groupings, to be followed by cabaret. Seven members of the foundation team were still available to join the celebrations; quite an achievement these days, and a tribute to Kathron Sturrock's organisational skills and energy (at the end of a long day she could be seen arranging music stands, heaving the piano around and racing to and fro in St John's keeping an eye on everything!).

She has built The Fibonacci Sequence into an important presence on the chamber music scene, in concert, on radio and through highly rated recordings, and it has been a pleasure to follow their progress over the years in Strictly Off the Record, Guide Magazine, Music Web and Musical Pointers.

This was not one of Fibonacci's best programmes and, for this critic, something of a broken-backed concert, the first half far the better. To dispose of disappointments first, Christine Cairns, who had been off the concert scene for a time, had breathing and intonation problems which did not help convince that David Matthews' arrangements of Rückert Lieder were idiomatic alternatives to the originals. And Cecilia McDowall 's expansion of her 2002 trumpet and piano duo conspicuously gave the additional instruments little to do apart from trying to intensify atmosphere inspired by a Rose Tremain novel; I think I'd prefer the original version. The intended frisson from Paul Archbold playing his trumpet into the piano, to exaggerate harmonic resonances, was largely dissipated in the St John's acoustic.

But the first half had been unalloyed delight. A traditional line-up for Mozart's G minor piano quartet (heard again just after reviewing some of his sonatas played on fortepiano and baroque violin) also qualifies nowadays for categorisation as an arrangement, but Kathron Sturrock's judicious touch and perfect ensemble reminded us that she is one of the most stylish chamber music pianists around. Balance was ideal (which is not easy) - achieved maybe with the help of a listener at rehearsal o,r more likely, intuitively amongst these marvellous musicians; magic. Stephanie Gonley had already given her all leading the witty pseudonymous compression of Till Eulenspiegel, which had also opened the group's auspicious launch concert, which I reviewed 10 years ago; truly a party piece for The Fibonacci Sequence.

See also: http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/Nov99/fibonacci.htm
& http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/cddvd/fibonacci_rorem.html

© Peter Grahame Woolf