TRMS Past Concerts (2017)

Purcell School (1)



Primary pupils get a lunchtime taste of classical music

Pupils from Arnett Hills primary school in Rickmansworth had a memorable musical lunch break last week.

Arnett Hills Pupils

The 30 Year 6 children attended a classical music recital by star students from the Purcell School in Bushey.

Arnett Hills

The concert, which was held in Rickmansworth Baptist Church, was organised by Three Rivers Music Society. And it proved to be an eye-opening experience for the Arnett Hills youngsters.

“I really enjoyed listening to the pianist,” said 10-year-old Aayush. “I never knew that a young person could play like that.” His classmates, Daya and Keeley, were equally impressed by the singing while Harry liked the harpist best. “She moved her hands so fast … whizzzz,” he said.

The concert outing was the idea of the school’s chair of governors, Mr Ash Patil, who also happens to be chair of the music society.

“It was wonderful to see the children enjoying what was, for many of them, their first classical music concert,” he said. “It was also especially good that they were able to hear such brilliant performances by the Purcell students, who are among the best young musicians in the country.

“They showed the younger children that even teenage musicians can reach the highest standards if they apply themselves and have excellent tutors. Just as importantly, the concert also demonstrated that classical music isn’t just for grown-ups.”

The concert featured music by Liszt, Mozart and Brahms, and lesser- known composers such as the French-born American harpist Marcel Grandjany and England’s Jonathan Dove, a composer of operas, choral works and film music.

The Purcell students who performed at the concert were Heather Brooks (harp), Sophia Jin (voice), Serguei Gonzalez Pavlova (violin), Ibai Pijoan Markaida (cello) and Bradley Ng (piano).

The Purcell School is Britain’s oldest specialist school for young musicians. It has produced three recent BBC Young Musician of the Year winners, Lara Melda (2010), Martin James Bartlett (2014) and Alexandra Ridout (Jazz Award 2016).

All concerts organised by Three Rivers Music Society are free to those aged under 25. Further information at

Research at London’s Institute of Education suggests that there may be substantial educational spin-offs from being introduced to classical music at a young age.

Professor Susan Hallam, a leading music education specialist, has concluded: "Our research shows there is compelling evidence for the benefits of music education on a wide range of skills including listening skills which, in turn, support the development of language skills. The benefits are greatest when musical activities start early and continue over a long period of time.”

Further information:
David Budge
Three Rivers Music Society

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Friday, 03.11.2017

John Donegan Jazz Quartet

Seven months late but still very welcome

Tommaso Starace The highly-regarded Italian jazz saxophonist Tommaso Starace finally gave his debut performance in Rickmansworth on November 3 – seven months behind schedule.
Tommaso was due to appear as a member of the John Donegan Quartet at a Three Rivers Music Society concert back in April. But just days before the concert, Milan-born Tommaso broke his leg in a road accident and the quartet had to perform as a trio. Tommaso Starace 1

Tommaso is an exceptional saxophonist and since gaining a postgraduate degree in jazz studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2000, he has performed at major jazz clubs, festivals and concert halls in the UK, Switzerland and Italy. He has collaborated with the Oscar-winning film composer Dario Marianelli (Pride and Prejudice and Atonement) and has recorded critically successful albums with his own quartet.

John Donegan, a renowned modern jazz pianist who performs regularly at the Café in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields and other London jazz venues, has also been in the recording studios. His latest album, Jen’s Progress, which was named after the second of his three daughters, was launched earlier this year and his forthcoming album, Amarie, will be dedicated to his wife, Marie.
John Donegan CD
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Tracks from both albums, as well as standards from the Great American Songbook, will feature in this concert.

The Concert took placs on
Friday, 3rd November 2017
at 7.30 PM
at the

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The Sansara Consort




more than 400 years of vocal music...

Members of an award-winning chamber choir that includes some of the UK’s finest young professional singers gave a lunchtime recital in Rickmansworth on Wednesday, October 11.

Six fine young singers at the beginning of their professional careers created this lunchtime programme especially for TRMS.  From the late Renaissance compositions of Wilbye and Monteverdi to the twentieth century ‘English Renaissance’ of Holst, Ireland and Vaughan Williams, the programme promises a glorious sound in the Baptist Church’s acoustic.


John Bennet, All creatures now
John Wilbye, Sweet honey sucking bees
Thomas Vautor, Mother, I will have a husband
arr. Gustav Holst, I love my love
Eric Whitacre, This marriage
Malcolm Archer, Cloths of Heaven
John Bennet, Weep, O mine eyes
Claudio Monteverdi, Lamento d’Arianna
John Wilbye, Weep, weep, mine eyes
Jacques Arcadelt, Il bianco e dolce cigno
Ralph Vaughan Williams, Rest
John Ireland, Twilight Night

LUNCHTIME CONCERT took place at 1.00 PM
on Wednesay, 11th October 2017 at the

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Maggini (3)


Rickmansworth classical music lovers welcomed back one of their favourite
string quartets on Friday, September 22.

The performance by the Magginis was a poignant one as David Angel, second violinist of the award-winning quartet, died within a fortnight of their previous Three Rivers Music Society concert in March of this year.

David’s place was taken by the gifted young Irish violinist, Ciaran McCabe, a former student of the Royal College of Music who has played with the Cavaleri Quartet since 2008.

Julian Leaper
The programme started with a pre-concert talk by Julian Leaper introducing the three pieces with background of the composers in the context of these pieces

The programme included three of the most popular works in the string quartet repertoire.

Bhawalkar conert2

The Magginis will play Mozart’s String Quartet No 15 in D Minor, which was dedicated to Haydn and was reputedly written while Mozart’s wife, Constanze, was giving birth to their first child in an adjoining room.

The second piece, Elgar’s String Quartet in E Minor, is one of three chamber works that Sir Edward composed in 1918. It was completed at his Sussex cottage on Christmas Eve, barely a month after the First World War had ended.

The final work, Dvorak's String Quartet No 12, was written while the Czech composer was on an idyllic summer vacation in Iowa in 1893. Dvorak wrote the quartet shortly after completing his celebrated New World Symphony.

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Uday Bhawalkar


Bhawalkar conert2

TRMS was proud to bring Indian Classical music to Rickmansworth for the first time and present Uday Bhawalkar - an internationally renowned proponent of Dhrupad style of Indian Classical Music. He not only regularly performs in London and elsewhere in Europe but also comes every summer to train aspiring musicians in the Dhrupad Music Society, UK in London the Dhrupad style of Indian Classical Music. Uday Bhawalkar will sing from his repertoire of Indian evening ragas in Dhrupad tradition.

About Dhrupad

Dhrupad is the oldest existing form of Indian Classical Music. Its long tradition links together the major heritages of Indian music and culture. Dhrupad's origins are thought to be in the recitation of the SamVeda, the sacred Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. The Mastros of Dhrupad remark that rather than entertain an audience, Dhrupad's purpose is worship. The nature of this type of music is hence spiritual, seeking to create a feeling of peace and contemplation in the listener. The word Dhrupad is derived from Dhruva the steadfast evening star and Pada meaning poetry. Dhrupad probably evolved from the earlier chanting of OM the sacred syllable that claimed to be source of all creation. Later, the chanting of Vedic scriptures into singing of Chhanda and Prabhandas sometime during the first millennium A.D. First chanted in the temples, Dhrupad evolved into a refined and sophisticated form of courtly classical music. Between the 12th and the 16th centuries, the language of Dhrupad composition texts changed from Sanskrit to Brijbhasha and the music eventually came under the patronage of the royal courts. Thus its complex renderings found a discerning audience in a highly sophisticated atmosphere of luxury and power of North India. Despite all its evolution, however, the pristine nature of Dhrupad has survived and even today, we hear this majestic music performed almost exactly the same as it would have been 500 years ago. Like other forms of Indian classical music, Dhrupad derives its music vocabulary from the raga system.


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Ragas can be thought of as scales, modes and collection of highly specific melodic phrases all at the same time. Thus Dhrupad's main emphasis is purity of raga and swara. Dhrupad is typically performed in two parts.

During the Alap section (without purcussion accompanyment) the raga is slowly and methodically developed in a meditative mood. The singer uses syllables taken from Sanskrit Mantras. These syllables are used in a specific way to clarify the rendering of the raga providing different possible vocal timbres for different pitches. The speed of Alap gradually increases with the introduction of an accelerating rhythmic pulse that builds to a point where the melodic patterns literally dance in space.

The Bandish is a short poem accompanied by pakhwaj, (a horizontal double-headed drum) and set to a cyclical rhythmic meter known known as Tala. The common Talas of Dhrupad contain, 7, 10, 12 or 14 beats.The poems are usually devotional or amorous in nature but they can also specify ways of using Raga, Tala, Swar and Laya. During the Bandish the singer develops the improvisations in the melody and rhythm, dividing the cycle systematically. The intricate patterns and improvisations woven by the singer and pakhwaj player create a dialogue often playing against or complementing one another.

Bhawalkar_concert3 The Concert took place at the Baptist Church in Rickmansworth on Saturday, 29th July 2017 to a mixed audience of Indian music lovers and those who are new to Indian music. The music was gripping, intriguing and those listening who were knowledgeable were spellbound and admiring the the Dhrupad tradition of the repertoire.

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Symphonia Academica


Symphonia Academica

Symphonia Academica

Symphonia Academica with Peter Bussereau-violin, Ania Ullman-viola, Julia Graham-cello and Julian Trevelyan-piano

The concert took place on Friday, 7th July 2017. There was a Pre-Concert talk at 7.00 PM and the main concert began at 7.30 PM. The programme which was very enthusiastically received by a keen and loyal audience included -
Schubert: String Trio movement in B flat D471
Beethoven: String Trio op.9 no.1
Adam Roberts: Lacuna
Ferruccio Busoni: Toccata
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G minor, op.25

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful music and many were saying as they left that it was possibly one of TRMS's very best concerts.

Symphonia Academica aims to create exciting concerts and exhilarating educational projects, bringing together a dynamic group of musicians from many areas of the professional classical music world. With this ensemble, you won’t find a constant churning out of repeated ideas, but more innovative offerings of a unique and fulfilling nature – for the audience and performer alike.

It takes a special kind of project to bring them together.  Take for example Mahler’s 4th Symphony, condensed for soprano and 12 players. A rare treat to play and hear and a stunning way to bring one of the greatest symphonies – by one of the greatest composers – into your town.

The key people behind this ambitious and exciting organisation are -

David Beaman

  David Beaman  
Conductor David Beaman was appointed principal conductor of Symphonia Academica in 2003. He has also conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra Strings, King's Chamber Orchestra, the Endellion Winds as well as commercial sessions for television, radio and cinema. He has on a number of occasions directed the chorus and orchestra at Greenbelt Festival in many and varied works such as Mozart Requiem and Holst The Planets. Other choirs he has directed include the Aylesbury Festival Chorus, the University of Luton Choir and the Redbourn Festival Chorus which he helped create in 2010.
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Peter Bussereau

  Peter Bussereau  

Artistic Director and Leader Peter Bussereau was awarded the silver medal at the Guildhall School of Music for gaining the highest marks for his diploma recital whilst also studying for a Mathematics degree at Royal Holloway College, University of London, where he performed his last concert as a student of the latter by playing the Brahms Violin Concerto.   Shortly afterward he took up a position with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and subsequently moved to the BBC Concert Orchestra,where he is currently a Principal Violinist.

In September 2007 Peter was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts degree from the new University of Bedfordshire-the first degree awarded by this new university- for his services to music in Bedfordshire.

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Rickmansworth Young Musician of

the Year competition



took place at 7pm on Friday,1st JULY, at the BAPTIST CHURCH in RICKMANSWORTH.

Boys and girls aged between 12 and 17 take part in this annual competition, fIts previous participants from this competition. now in its 34th year, have gone on to win many other musical awards including the BBC Young Musician of the Year.  Previous contestants are now to be found playing in, or with internationally renowned orchestras, in chamber groups and as recitalists.

In previous years the selection of instruments played has been broad, ranging over the more frequent violin or piano, to the saxophone, guitar, harp, cello, clarinet, flute and organ.  This year, after the preliminary round that was held on 16th May, the adjudicators decided on the following 8 finalists.  We have 4 pianists, 1 violinist, 2 singers and a Marimbist – a percussion instrument akin to a xylophone.

Our finalists this year were:
Rhys Evans (violin);
Tamara Redmond (piano);
Adelaide Harliono (voice)
Zacharias Brandman (piano)
Alexander Pullen (Marimba) (St Clement Danes School)
George Harliono (piano)
Isabella Flynn (piano) (Royal Masonic)
Alex Blinko (voice) (Purcell School)

The winners this year were:
First Prize - George Harliono (piano)
Second Prize - Adelaide Harliono (voice)
Third Prize - Isabella Flynn (piano)

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Ashley Fripp Solo Piano


  Ashley Fipp  


It would indeed be a gross understatement about last Wednesday's Ashley Fripp's piano recital to say that it went well. His piano playing was just superb and contrasting pieces from Prokofiev’s D minor piano sonata to Debussy's reflective Images and Chopin's tranquil music made this into one of the most enjoyable and memorable musical evenings.

Ashley Fripp will return to Rickmansworth during the 2017/2018 music season.

British pianist Ashley Fripp frequently appears as solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist in many of the world's most prestigious concert halls, having performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Australia. Recent highlights include the Carnegie Hall (New York), Musikverein (Vienna), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Philharmonie Cologne, Bozar (Brussels), the Royal Festival, Barbican and Wigmore Halls (London), the Laeiszhalle (Hamburg), Cité de la musique (Paris), Hamamatsu City Concert Hall (Japan), the Megaron (Athens), Konzerthaus Dortmund, the Gulbenkian Auditorium (Lisbon) and the Konserthus (Stockholm).

He studied locally to Rickmansworth at the Purcell School and in 2004 won the Three Rivers Young Musician of the Year Competition. Since then, he has won prizes at more than a dozen national and international competitions, including the coveted Gold Medal from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Diploma of Outstanding Merit at the 8th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, 1st Prize at the Brant International Piano Competition, Semi-Finalist Prize in the Leeds International Piano Competition, The Worshipful Company of Musicians' Prince's Prize, the Keyboard Prize at the Royal Over-Seas League Competition and 3rd Prize at the Concours Européen de Piano (France). He was chosen as a 'Rising Star' by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), and has also performed in the Chipping Campden, Edinburgh, Brighton, Bath and City of London Festivals as well as the Festival Pontino di Musica (Italy). A frequent guest on broadcasting networks, Ashley has appeared on BBC television and radio, Euroclassical, Eurovision TV and the national radio stations of Hungary, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Portugal. He has collaborated with a variety of well-known conductors including Semyon Bychkov, James Judd, Vasily Petrenko, Robertas Šervenikas, Hilary Davan Wetton, Jonathan Bloxham and Peter Stark.


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Ashley Fripp recently graduated with a Masters degree and Artist Diploma, both with distinction, from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he studied with Ronan O'Hora and frequently with Richard Goode. The Guildhall School also awarded him the Premier Prix and Lord Mayor's Prize. He is currently studying with Eliso Virsaladze at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (Italy) and simultaneously undertaking doctoral studies into the piano music of Thomas Adès at the Guildhall School.

Ashley Fripp's CD recording of both Chopin Piano Concertos is available on the Spektral Records label.

Thomas Adès, composer, pianist and conductor
“Ashley Fripp is a genuine virtuoso, an astoundingly brilliant and masterly pianist, and his total grasp of the music is a joy to hear”

New York Times
“Disarmingly precocious”

Birmingham Post
“Ashley Fripp is a pianist of formidable intelligence. Add to that a fearless, loose-limbed technique and a prodigious memory...and you have a young talent which needs to be taken very seriously indeed”

Musical Opinion
“...This was an amazing reading, gripping, sensuous and full of colour and flavour. Listen out for Fripp in the future; I certainly will

Rheinische Post
"Sometimes breathtakingly fast, sometimes as slowly as a narrator telling his story in the moment, sometimes folksy and temperamental, sometimes lyrical, yet always with picturesque phrasing, he brought the little pieces to life with exquisite class."

Mittelbayerische Zeitung
“A master of restraint... he allowed Chopin's arabesques to effervesce weightlessly”

The programme included...

J. S. Bach (1685-1750) English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807
S. Prokofiev (1891-1953) Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op. 14

C. Debussy (1862–1918) Images, Book 1
F. Chopin (1810-1849)
Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60
Four Mazurkas, Op. 24
Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante, Op. 22

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John Donegan Jazz Trio


TRMS made history by introducing a jazz evening for the first time on Wednesday, 12th April with the John Donegan Jazz Trio, which regularly performs at the Café in the Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

John Donegan at the Crypt

John has just released a new CD called Jen's Progress with a collection of songs dedicated to one of his daughters - Jennifer. He played some of these at this concert, coupled with a selection from the Great American Songbook and a few universally popular and familiar pieces.

John Donegan CD
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<John Donegan Concert Audience

An audience of around 75 enjoyed the breathtaking performance from John on piano, Steve Riddle on double bass and Greg McCarthy on drums. John's piano playing was so exceptional that many in the audience were visibly tapping their feet to the wonderful music and rhythm.

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Maggini (2)


The Maggini concert last Friday marked another wonderful concert organised by the Three Rivers Music Society and was surely one of the highlights of the season so far. The Baptist church was nearly full, even a few people sitting in the balcony and absolutely everyone was spell bound by the intricacy, energy, and vitality of the playing by this renowned string quartet.

The programme was delightfully varied with two Austro- German classical pieces, one by Haydn and one by Beethoven, sandwiched in between an unusual not so well known piece by Arnold Bax written in 1918. This piece was the highlight for me and the hints of Irish folk music and rustic country dancing ran exquisitely throughout the piece. It was fast and very lively and to be able to witness the close symbiotic way the four musicians played together, almost as if in conversation was awe inspiring..

It was a truly memorable evening .

Report by Sue Howse, one of TRMS's committee members.

Maggini Quartet

The programme included -

Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809) String quartet in E flat Op. 20 No. 1
Arnold Bax (1883 - 1953) String quartet No. 1 in G (1918)
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 11 in F minor Op. 95 "Serioso"
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Maggini - Programme Notes - more info...
Sad news - David Angel's sudden death...

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Nall (violin) & Ward (piano)


David Ward speaking at the Preconcert Talk

Last night's (Monday, 13th February at Baptist Church, Rickmansworth) was a great success with delightful violin and piano sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven and a twentieth century piece by Korngold - "Garden Scene" from Much Ado about Nothing. The encore was Massenet's "Meditation" from the opera Thais, which was pure icing on the cake. An audience of around 50 thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful musical experience and was spellbound by the tranquillity of the encore.

Ward and Nall Concert

Peter Nall studied at the Royal College of Music with Jaroslav Vanecek and later with Emanuel Hurwitz and David Takeno.  He continued his studies in Aldeburgh at the Britten-Pears School on courses under Rostropovich, Colin Davis & Tamas Vasary.  He was a member of both the BBC Philharmonic & Radio Orchestras before joining the Bournemouth Sinfonietta as sub-principal first violin.  He later spent ten years full-time with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  Now a freelance player, Peter also coaches and directs various amateur orchestras and deals in fine stringed instruments and bows.

David Ward has had an active life as pianist, fortepianist, conductor and teacher;  in particular, his performances and recordings of Mozart on piano and fortepiano were highly praised.  He has played in the major concert halls in London and in many parts of the UK as well as in Holland, Ireland, South Africa, America, Australia and New Zealand.  He conducted for New Sadlers Wells Opera Company and has also conducted opera and oratorio in London, Dublin and Marseilles.  He taught at the Royal College of Music for over 40 years where, among other things, he was instrumental in developing the area of fortepiano studies.  He also taught fortepiano at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Peter and David performed -

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Violin Sonata in B flat K454
  Violin Sonata in G K301
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Violin Sonata No 1 in D op 12/1
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Garden Scene from Much Ado about Nothing, op11
Nall & Ward - Programme Notes - more info...
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TRMS's History
TRMS Concerts
Maggini Quartet (7)
John Donegan Sextet (6)
Verona Maier (2)
Purcell School (8)
TRMS Past Concerts


Purcell School (7)
Organist Samuel Bristow
Symphonia Academica
Moody & Halls Brothers
Roberts & Horton


Purcell School (6)
Galliard Ensemble
Bowes (violin) & Maier (piano)
John Donegan Jazz Sextet
Jayne Walker (violin) & Steven Halls (cello)Duet
Iain Farrington and John Reid piano duet
Jayne Walker Piano Trio


Purcell School (5)
The Maggini String Quartet (6)
John Donegan Jazz Sextet
Hallses & Moody Quartet
Peter Nall Chamber Ensemble
Louise Thompson Harp Recital
John Donegan Jazz Quartet
Purcell School (4)
Ferio Saxophone Quartet


Jayne Walker Piano Trio
Symphonia Academica (2)
Purcell School (3)
Maggini String Quartet (5)
Maggini String Quartet (4)
Gunning Speech on Rubbra's music
Thomas Bowes Violin Solo
Stokes (flute) & Lee (piano)
Butterworth Organ Recital
Julian Trevelyan piano
Purcell School (2)


Purcell School (1)
John Donegan's Jazz Quartet
The Sansara Consort
Maggini (3)
Uday Bhawalkar
What is Dhrupad?
Symphonia Academica
RYMY - 2017
Ashley Fripp
Donegan Jazz Trio
Maggini (2)
Sad news - David Angel's sudden death...
Nall & Ward

By the by
articles by David Budge

recent articles

Gioconda de Vito
tinkling the "ivories"

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Gunning Speech on Rubbra's music
Sound of Music best heard in Watford
Rosa Newmarch - a truly unforgettable woman
Gilbert loved Harefield
Janacek's "fairy tale" visit to Chorleywood

Previous articles

Sir Andrew Davis's journey
Strange link between Delius and Fanny Cradock
Arnold Bax's brief exile in Rickmansworth
Composers on the train to Rickmansworth
Musician's chapel
Sir Henry Wood
Piano Appeal
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