"...dazzlingly good chamber ensemble…
exuberantly expressive, intimate style…
gorgeously idiomatic playing’
The Times
Tuesday 30 Nov 2004
Anthony Burton,
'..Skinner's expertise and sensitivity..'

This disc from the imaginative Fibonacci Sequence features the group's
bassoonist, Richard Skinner, in varying chamber-music contexts. The only
out-and-out solo piece is Weber's Andante and Hungarian Rondo, with its
original orchestral accompaniment rather improbably reduced by Mordecai
Rechtman to string trio. Skinner makes a beautiful sound in the expressive
Andante, and hurtles effectively through the virtuoso coda, though a bit
more Hungarian swagger in the Rondo theme wouldn't have come amiss. The
bassoon also takes the lead in Henri Sauguet's plaintive little Barcarol!e
with harp and Gordon Jacob's beautifully crafted Suite with string quartet,
both persuasively played.
Oddly, in the pieces with strings the bassoon sounds slighty too distant.
But there are no complaints about the balance in two standard works of wind
chamber music with bassoon as an equal partner. Ibert's Fire Pieces for reed
trio and Mozart's Quintet with piano.No complaints about the performances
either: Skinner's expertise and sensitivity are perfectly matched by his
colleagues, notably the pianist Kathron Sturrock. In the Mozart the
Fibonacci are perhaps just pipped for poise and subtlety by the Gaudier
Ensemble on Hyperion. But it's the overall package that counts, and even if
you're not particularly a bassoon buff you'll find this a very enjoyable
programme. Anthony Burton


PERFORMANCE ****
SOUND ***
BBC Music Direct 13.99 inc. p&p