Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

The Fibonacci Sequence in concert & on CD

Schumann Adagio & Allegro horn and piano
Glinka Trio Pathetique clarinet, bassoon, piano
Herzogenberg Trio for oboe, horn and piano
Ceciia McDowall Century Dances for oboe, clarinet and bassoon
Beethoven Quintet in E flat piano and wind

Active since 1994 and masterminded by the indefatigable Kathron Sturrock, this concert fielded three original founder members on wind instruments, Christopher O'Neal, Julian Farrell, Richard Skinner and Stephen Stirling.

The programme, adventurous as always, was a little short of music in the top rank, though it was good to have an opportunity to hear Glinka's trio, given an immaculate performance, and to encounter Herzogenberg, contemporary and friend of Brahms. The second half introduced charming miniatures for wind trio by McDowall, who was present to enjoy their warm reception, and the concert ended with a strong account of the Beethoven Quintet, composed with Mozart's in mind.

During this concert Stephen Stirling suffered a few "horn moments" to remind us how fickle his instrument was until standards were raised by the arrival of the great, short-lived Dennis Brain. That Stirling is a stalwart of the ensemble, and enjoys a distinguished orchestral career, is evident from many Fibonacci CDs which I have received.


The Fibonacci Sequence has recorded extensively and for many labels. A series for Deux Elles features single members of the ensemble, each interviewed by a colleague; they bring back a real feeling of chamber music amongst friends. The booklets, uncommonly interesting, are available on line.

"Horn" features the delightful chamber arrangement of Till Eulenspiegel featured in The Fibonacci Sequence's inaugural concert which I was privileged to cover, and it showcases Steve Stirling's consummate skill and musicianship.

"Oboe" & "Bassoon" have the two founder member double-reed players (who were at SJSS this month) interviewing each other, their programmes featuring French & English chamber music with some delightful rarities, the latter disc finishing wth "finally, of course the Mozart Quintet". With Kathron Sturrock at the helm, that receives a satisfying performance - on modern instruments, understandably for an outfit which is continually on the road, nationally and internationally.*

Amongst the others, a portrait concert of music by John McCabe [Dutton CDLX 7125] includes his piano concerto with winds (same players as at SJSS this month) and must be the only piano concerto recording in which the soloist's name cannot be found with the disc? John is a distinguished pianist but on this occasion, so Kathron tells me, she played and he turned over for her at the piano !

Peter Grahame Woolf

* In June The Fibonacci Sequence will be in West Cumbria for the Second Fibonacci Festival
Their "clarinet" CD featuring JulianFarrell will be released shortly.