Fibonacci Sequence Chamber Ensemble
St Peter's Church, Shaldon
Bridge Road
TQ14 0DB
United Kingdom
Type: Concert
Date: Sunday 24 June 2018
Start Time: 7.30pm
End Time: Approximately 9.30pm
Performer(s): Fibonacci Sequence Chamber Ensemble
Host Organisation: Shaldon Festival
Box Office Contact: Malcolm Watson
Box Office Email:

Ticket Information: Adults £15 Students £5 Free ticket if under 17 and accompanied by an adult Full booking details can be found on the 'Book Tickets' page of this website.

Concert supported by the Exeter and District Classical Music Trust

Daniel Pioro Violin
Benjamin Roskams Violin
Morgan Goff Viola
Benjamin Hughes Cello
Kathron SturrockPiano


Four Romantic Pieces Op.75a for two violins, and viola

Cavatina (Moderato)
Capriccio (Poco allegro)
Romance (Allegro)
Elegy (Larghetto)

Passacaglia for Violin and Cello (after Handel)

Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478

Rondo: Allegro moderato

Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34

I Allegro non troppo II Andante, un poco Adagio
III Scherzo: Allegro IV Finale: Poco sostenuto


2018 REVIEW by Nigel H. Crabtree
It is difficult to convey the impact of the thrilling musical experience we were privileged to witness tonight. From the very first note of the Dvorak Op 75a Trio it was abundantly clear that it was going to be an evening of sublime musicality. Dvorak’s work often refers to Folk melodies and his use of Bohemian Folk Songs infused the work with real emotional contrast. That it was written for amateur players would perhaps be disputed by the 2nd violinist who often allows both melody and bass line to be supported by endless shifting arpeggiated figures within the texture - so sensitively and effortlessly achieved. There were some lovely glissandi in the appoggiaturas in the Elegy passed on as echoes between the 1st Violin and Cello.

Halvorsen’s Passacaglia, a Duet for Violin and Cello, was simply breathtaking! What virtuosity was displayed by both players - but with a nonchalance that belied the incredible technical acrobatics. Virtually all the different possibilities of producing sound on a stringed instrument were deployed to the obvious delight of the packed audience - and of the players. It was as if the spirit of Paganini was abroad in Shaldon.

Mozart’s Piano Quartet K.478 cast in his favourite dramatic key of G minor, allows for all the stormy turbulence of unexpected modulations to take the somewhat forbidding opening motif to task in the development sections. The communication between the players, the nuances of performance directions and the ability to draw us into their belief and trust in Mozart’s score was completely compelling.

From G minor to the very much darker key of F minor. A key that affords, certainly for the upper strings, less opportunity to use the brighter sonorities surrounding the tuning of the open strings. It is often thought that for string players a D flat (for example) is a completely different note to its enharmonic equivalent of C sharp - the latter sounding much brighter, even though it is the same black note on the piano! So the die (dye?) is cast by Brahms for his Piano Quintet in F minor Op34. In this dramatic and often tempestuous work we were treated to Chamber Music virtually at its limits - in parts almost symphonic in scale. For this work all the members of the Fibonacci Sequence came together contributing their consummate skill and musicianship to the utmost, leaving us spellbound and them exhausted at the end of an unforgettably stunning concert.

The only mathematical glitch was that the 4tet isn’t represented in the Fibonacci Sequence, however with the addition of a page turner I suppose it complied - he did however, rather mess up the sequence by appearing in the Brahms Quintet - who needs a page turner anyway!

The Fibonacci Sequence celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2014, and is considered one of the UK's most distinguished chamber ensembles with a wide-ranging discography and impressive reviews. The ensemble members appear at the world's leading festivals and venues and many of them are also on the faculties of leading conservatoires in the UK and abroad. The Fibonacci Sequence was chosen for the season 2012-2013 by the Concert Promotions Network, and has appeared at Buxton Festival, Thaxted Festival and many distinguished venues throughout the UK. In 2014 they made a return visit to Colombia following great acclaim from their visit in 2011.
For Fibonacci Sequence Chamber Ensemble website click here

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, K.478

Although Haydn may be credited with the crystallization of the main classical musical forms – the symphony, concerto, string quartet, string trio, etc. – into patterns which became universally accepted, it is to Mozart that we owe the piano quartet, despite the fact that he wrote no more than two of them. He was used to the idea of chamber music which incorporated the keyboard for domestic use where the harpisichord, or fortepiano, held sway and was merely accompanied by other instruments. This arose mainly from social circumstances where daughters of upper class families were accomplished keyboard players, a skill which often served to ensnare a husband, while sons, whose main aim in life was rather different, played string instruments with a lesser degree of skill. It seems, however, that in the 1780s Mozart showed complete disregard for the needs of amateurs and turned to the professional and the connoisseur, writing for equal partners. This was particularly so in his piano quartets. According to Georg Nissen, Constanze Mozart's second husband, the publisher Hoffmeister commissioned three piano quartets. The G minor was the first of these to be submitted, but when it appeared in 1785 the general public found it too difficult to perform and Hoffmeister withdrew his support. However, the second, the E flat Major, K.493, had already been written and was accepted by another publisher. Unfortunately, the composer had become disillusioned and he was to write no more in this form.
Both quartets are in three movements. The key of G minor, his key of 'fate', had a special significance for Mozart and was the catalyst for some of his greatest works. Set out in unison by all four instruments, the opening terse motif was described by the musicologist Alfred Einstein as the 'fate' theme. This first movement is in large-scale sonata form, the subdued second subject being introduced by the piano alone and with the 'fate' motto again exploited to the full in the coda. Lyrical, and slower, the second movement has a melancholy air. In contrast to the first two movements, the high spirited Rondo finale dismisses all despondency in an incredible abundance of melody.
Programme notes provided by John Dalton courtesy of Making Music

Johannes Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34
Allegro non troppo
Andante, un poco adagio
Scherzo: Allegro
Sostenuto - allegro non troppo - presto non troppo

Brahms had considerable difficulty in getting this enormous work into its final form. It first appeared in 1863 as a string quintet with two 'cellos, and was tried out by Joachim and friends and spoken of approvingly by Clara Schumann. Then it was re-cast as a sonata for two pianos and performed by Brahms and Tausig in Vienna in 1864. It made little impression and was thought to lack warmth that only strings could supply. Finally it was published as a piano quintet in 1865 though not publicly performed for another three years. It is a work of immense power and urgency and, with its multiplicity of ideas, almost bursts the seams of the classical structure in which it is cast.

The long first movement in F minor begins with a four-bar unison phrase, followed by a rhythmic transformation of it on the piano in semiquavers which forms much of the material of the movement. A second theme, whispered pp on strings with piano, soon appears in a remote C sharp minor, over a rumbling measured trill in the bass. The elements of contrast and surprise (as when the recapitulation creeps in) feature strongly through the movement which eventually relaxes into F major (for the first time) in the Coda. But this is rudely thrust aside by a reversion to the minor key storms from the opening.

By contrast the Andante in A flat is simple and tender. The lulling rhythm carries a duet melody on the piano strongly recalling Schubert. This flows serenely on, until a middle section (in a remote E major) has strings answered by piano molto espressivo. The duet theme returns, completely rescored to present new interesting textures.

The Scherzo which follows has immense rhythmic verve. A pulsing low C on 'cello underpins a soft syncopated string tune in 6/8, which becomes a 2/4 march still pp, until a sudden shout of joy in huge C major chords. These elements are exploited in a relentless almost savage manner, building to a great climax. This is slightly relieved by the Trio section, based briefly on a rich noble tune. The whole scherzo section then repeats its onslaught.

The finale begins with a dark whispered introduction which at times appears to be completely atonal. Then in wanders the main tune on 'cello with semiquaver figuration on piano; the movement then consists of subtle and imaginative transformations of this theme, through various modulations and rhythm and time changes. An oddly syncopated second theme, più animato, mainly for string quartet, provides an episode of lighter texture.

A late appearance of the main theme arrives in 6/8 in C sharp minor (again - see first movement) marked non legato and presto. This leads to a huge Coda which pulls all the threads together, with Brahms' symphonic genius being used in a masterly display of creative thought, almost overpowering the listener by its breadth and grandeur.

Specht tells us that the quintet contains some of the "gloomiest music Brahms has written". Tovey calls the first movement "powerfully tragic," yet Clara Schumann was "charmed" by it - hardly suggesting tragedy. Geiringer describes it as "lively." When the pundits disagree, we had better be careful: let us dream our dreams but let us be reticent about them. Our neighbour may have dreamt quite a different dream, and who is to say whether either of us is right?
Programme notes provided by C.R.W. for Ilkley Concert Club, September 2010

Parking Map for St Peter's Church, Shaldon


St Peter’s Church, Bridge Road, Shaldon, TQ14 0DB


1. Long Stay Public Carpark ½ mile from the church, reached through the village or off the A379 coast road to Torquay, postcode TQ14 0HP – 381 spaces, “pay & display” during the day but free after 6.00pm. Allow 15 minutes for the blue walking route shown.
2. Short Stay Public Carpark, opposite the church, postcode TQ14 0BP – 48 spaces, “pay & display” subject to a short stay 4 hour limit during the day but free after 6.00pm.
3. Extra parking – limited space adjoining the recreation ground reached from Ringmore Road but with easy pedestrian access to the Church along the estuary embankment. If using this area, please park “tidily” to maximise the usable space; this area is only available for parking as a special arrangement for the Festival.


Please telephone Malcolm Watson on 01626 873492 if you need help with letting someone alight at the church and/or need seating space for a wheelchair. In addition, there are a very few parking spaces close to the church which we can reserve for those with mobility difficulties on a first come, first served, basis.