"...dazzlingly good chamber ensemble…
exuberantly expressive, intimate style…
gorgeously idiomatic playing’
The Times
Evening Standard Barry Millington
"such an accomplished performance..."

Since its premiere at the Wigmore Hall in 1920, Adela Maddison's Piano Quintet has fallen into neglect, as indeed has its composer. On Friday night, amid a flurry of publicity for Maddison, the Fibonacci Sequence resurrected the work in the presence of Tom Hillsden, the composer's great-grandson.
Maddison was a passionate devotee of Faure and it has often been assumed that when she moved to Paris in 1892, abandonig her husband and two children, it was for the furtherance of a liaison with the French composer.
There is no clear evidence for such an affair, however, and it may be that Maddison simply found the salons of the Princesse de Polignac more congenial and welcoming than the London musical scene.
The Piano Quintet is at the very least an historical curiosity and it was good to have the opportunity to hear it in such an accomplished performance. Though shot through with both French and German influences, it has individual traits, too - not always to its advantage. The structure, in particular, is sectional and episodic, with frequent changes of mood and register rather than a coherent sweep such as characterises the contemporaneous Piano Quintet of Elgar.
With a quartet of robust string players (Jack Liebeck, Helen Paterson, Louise Williams and Benjamin Hughes) and the Fibonacci's artstic director, Kathron Sturrock at the piano, the work's lack of cohesion was paradoxically emphasised: occasional passages of beauty and inspiration shone out but were all too soon eclipsed by the next impatient interruption.
Nor did Maddison fare too well by direct comparison with Faure in groups of song settings by each composer. The veiled, misty sonorities of Faure's Automne, rising to a tragic climax, were ably conjured by mezzo Yvonne Howard and Sturrock, while the brightest tones of Notre Amour were well contrasted.
The roaming harmonies of Maddison's Hiver and Silence! were far from predictable, but once again the overall command of structure left something to be desired.
Sturrock modestly retired behind the four string players in Mozart's own chamber arrangement of the Piano Concerto in C. K415. Her own soft-grained, undemonstrative playing ideally complemented the finely judged execution of this mini orchestra.