United Kingdom Copland, Mozart, Benjamin Wallfisch. Schulhoff, Saint-Saëns. Simon Wallfisch (baritone), Fibonacci Sequence [Paul Archibald (trumpet), Daniel Pioro & Marije Ploemacher (violin),Yuko Inoue (viola), Benjamin Hughes (cello), Lynda Houghton (double bass), Christopher O’Neal (cor anglais), Kathron Sturrock (piano)], Hall One, King’s Place, London, 7.12.2014 (LB)
Aaron Copland – Quiet City
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Adagio for cor anglais and strings
Benjamin Wallfisch – An Eternal Window
Erwin Schulhoff – Duo for violin and cello
Camille Saint Saëns – Septet Op.65
The chamber ensemble, Fibonacci Sequence, brainchild of the pianist Kathron Sturrock, celebrated its 20th anniversary in a LCMS (London Chamber Music Series) concert at Kings Place this evening in an unusual programme of works by Copland, Mozart, Benjamin Wallfisch, Schulhoff and Saint Saëns.
Copland’s beguiling Quiet City opened the programme, with meticulously well- judged and synchronized contributions from the solo trumpet and cor anglais who were situated in opposing corners of the balcony, high above the platform, from which the quintet of strings provided a lush and attentive foundation.
Lowicky’s completion of Mozart’s Adagio for cor anglais and strings proved to be an interesting oddity and Christopher O’Neal dispatched it with aplomb.
Benjamin Wallfisch (b. 1979), one of the younger members of the celebrated Wallfisch musical family is increasingly feted as a composer of film music, but this special Fibonacci Ensemble commission, from 2011, demonstrated a completely different side to his prowess as a composer. An Eternal Window is the setting to music of a poem, of the same name, by the Israeli poet Yehuda Amicha and was sung purposefully and persuasively by Simon Wallfisch, another member of this very distinguished family. The piano and string quintet that accompanied him enabled a suitably mesmeric and flexible dimension, and was capably shepherded by Daniel Pioro.
After the interval, Daniel Pioro and Benjamin Hughes launched into an energetic performance of Erwin Schulhoff’s Duo for violin and cello, with Hughes’ compelling musicianship, and mastery of the fierce technical demands of the cello part, particularly satisfying.
The Septet, Op.65 is, after the ‘Organ Symphony’, the Cello Concerto in A minor, and the Second Piano Concerto, probably Saint Saëns’ most often performed work nowadays, and it was gratifying to hear a performance of such quality. Paul Archibald’s cultured and expressive trumpet playing was a delight; every note he played was judged to perfection and delivered with consummate style. Kathron Sturrock, the ensemble’s founder and artistic inspiration, dispatched the virtuosic piano part with consummate ease, and the quintet of strings contributed vigour and effervescence.