FIBONACCI at St John's, Smith Square, November 2nd 1999
This group, founded by pianist Kathron Sturrock in 1994, is always worth watching and hearing. Its first concert, which I reviewed in Strictly Off the Record, set the pattern. Carefully thought out, well balanced programming is the keynote, with thorough preparation and a loyal team of some of London's best free-lance players. Novelties, but those not too challenging to a general audience.
[left Their first programme, 22 June 1994]
On 2nd November, at a concert celebrating 100 years of Kingston University, there was a new piece Inferno, for counter tenor, trumpet and percussion, by Cecilia McDowall, whose fanfare was the most arresting item in Fibonacci's concert earlier this year. With texts from Dante's Inferno and Rimbaud's Une saison en enfer she created a dramatic scena, which would mollify anyone who still finds the counter tenor voice disturbing. Renzo Murrone easily held his own in a grim exploration of panic, chaos and hope in a continuing cycle, employing a deep masculine voice as well as high, penetrating tones.
Fibonacci has a nice line in arrangements of orchestral music. In their first concert, Till Eulenspiegel for a reduced ensemble; this time the Brahms D major Serenade in Alan Boustead's wholly successful recreation of the original Nonet. With the mellow tones of lower strings (a quartet with double bass and only one violin), two clarinets but no oboe, this was balm for the spirits to end a delightful programme, in which the self effacing Kathron Sturrock had chosen to play only in a neat and satisfying performance of the infrequently heard Beethoven piano/wind quintet.
Fibonacci has a vigorous broadcasting and recording programme, and I would like to endorse most strongly here Music on the Web's praise for their superlative CD of Alan Rawsthorne's chamber music (ASV DCA 1061) [review]; is there any other composer of the period who is so instantly recognisable?
Peter Grahame Woolf
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