Ian Venables: At Midnight, Songs and Chamber Music (Andrew Kennedy / Dante Quartet) Dante Quartet. Signum Classics, 2010 (Signum label SIGCD204)
by Stephen Pritchard
The Observer, Sunday 22 August 2010
Recorded for the first time, here is Ian Venables’s sinewy string quartet, op 32, given an expressive reading by the hugely impressive Dante Quartet. English art song’s melancholy legacy runs from Dowland through to Parry, Quilter, Vaughan Williams and Warlock and today finds its voice in composers such as Venables. His quartet of elegant John Clare settings, Invite, to Eternity op31 joins others from various poetic sources, each displaying his stylish and graceful melodic invention, vividly realised in Andrew Kennedy’s plangent tenor and the keenly judged playing of the Dantes.