Requiem Mass – UK Premiere
Performed by the choir of Gloucester Cathedral Cathedral
Conducted by Adrian Partington
In 2017 the composer was commissioned by Bryce and Cynthia Somerville to write a Requiem Mass in memory of their parents. The Introit was given its premiere last year at Doreen Somerville’s funeral and the music was published by Novello in January of this year under the title of Requiem Aeternam (see below)
Review of Requiem by John Quinn for ‘SEEN AND HEARD’
“Ian Venables’ setting of the Introit from the start of a Requiem Mass is a beautifully expressive response to the words – one feels not only that every syllable has significance, but there is an almost hypnotic quality to the repetitions of short phrases” Julian Elloway, Royal School of Church Music
For further details and music score please click the LINK below
The Introit was recently recorded for SOMM RECORDS by the chapel choir of The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, conducted by William Vann.
It is now available on a CD of Remembrance music that includes a new arrangement of Faure’s Requiem.
“Fauré’s Requiem, arranged for choir and organ by Iain Farrington, and Ian Venables’ newly-composed Requiem Aeternam (in its first recording) both offer succor and solace in their conviction that death is not the end but, as Fauré thought of it: “a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.” NAXOS REVIEW
To listen to the Introit and to purchase the CD please click the Link below
Violin Sonata – Premiere at the Athenaeum, Pall Mall
October 23rd at 12.30
Sasha Rozhdestvensky and Josiane Marfurt
Sasha Rozhdestvensky is considered one of Russia’s finest young violinists. He has worked with many of the world’s renowned conductors, including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yuri Bashmet, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Valery Gergiev, Vernon Handley, Jacques Mercier, Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Gerard Schwartz. The composer’s Violin Sonata was written especially for Sasha and for this premiere performance he will be joined by his wife, the distinguished pianist Josiane Marfurt.
‘Lest We Forget’ – A Commemorative Concert To Mark The End Of The Great War
Sunday 7th October at 3pm
The Countess of Huntingdon’s Hall, Deansway, Worcester
With James Gilchrist (tenor), Benjamin Frith (piano) and Richard Jenkinson (‘cello)
Worcester Live in association with the Elgar School of Music and the Worcester Concert Club present a commemorative concert to mark the end of the Great War. Featuring some of Britain’s best loved songs by Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, Gurney and Finzi, the concert will also include a performance of Ian Venables’ powerful and moving song cycle ‘Through These Pale Cold Days’, commissioned by the Limoges Trust for the City of Worcester.
For further information please click the LINK below http://www.worcesterlive.co.uk/events_review.asp?eid=453061087
‘Reflections on the Great War’ – Song Recital
Sunday 30th September at 3 pm at ‘The Lieder Society of Victoria’
With Michael Lampard and Rhodri Clarke
‘Michael Lampard and Rhodri Clarke have spent the last four years exploring the music and poetry of the First World War. With a focus on the English composers of the period, as well as modern composers and song writers who have looked back on this horrific time in history. Michael and Rhodri take you on a journey of reflection, through nostalgia and some of the greatest of all English song repertoire including Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Songs of Travel’ and settings of the poetry of Ivor Gurney by England’s living master of song composer, Ian Venables’ ( 3MBS – Fine Music – Melbourne)
This special commemorative recital will feature a performance of the composer’s song cycle The Pine Boughs Past Music Op.39
The Daily Telegraph – Simon Heffer’s ‘Hinterland’ Column
Earlier this year, the composer was featured in a major profile by Professor Simon Heffer in his ‘Hinterland’ column for The Daily Telegraph. Professor Heffer, wrote, “Venables, … writes exquisite chamber music in the English style of Howells or Ireland; he has been acclaimed by independent-minded critics as the finest writer of art songs since Gerald Finzi”.
The article reviewed two of the composer’s most acclaimed CD’s. The first, ‘The Song of the Severn’ (Signum Classics) was recorded in 2016 by Roderick Williams, together with the Carducci String quartet and pianist Graham J. Lloyd. Professor Heffer remarked, “Venables sets to music verse by often forgotten poets, from John Clare to John Masefield; to hear them is to hear something reflective, brooding, melancholy and unmistakably English”.
The second disc was SOMM RECORDS benchmark recording of the composer’s Piano Quintet and other chamber works with the Coull String Quartet and Pianist Mark Bebbington. Professor Heffer commented, “It is an exceptional work with many shifts of tone and varieties of expression, and if Venables’ excellence could be symbolised by just one piece, it would be this”.
For the FULL TEXT please click this LINK
New Publications from Music Sales: The Chester Vocal Anthology
The composer’s songs feature in a new series of song anthologies published by Chester Music. In three separate volumes for, soprano, tenor and bass twenty-four popular songs have been selected from the major exam boards syllabuses, spanning Grades 5 to 8 and beyond. Both the Soprano and Bass anthologies includes the song ‘Flying Crooked’ and the Tenor anthology contains the song, ‘Because I liked you better’ (from Songs of Eternity and Sorrow).
The performance notes for the soprano volume are written by Mary Bevan and Joseph Middleton. The programme notes for the tenor album by James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook and the notes for the bass album by Donald Maxwell and Angela Livingstone.
For further details please click the following LINK
UK Premiere of ‘Chamber Music III” at the Athenaeum, London
The talented young musicians Estonian pianist, Maksim Stsura and Colette Boushell devised a fascinating programme to commemorate the centenary of James Joyce’s first published extracts of ‘Ulysses’ in 1918. Their recital featured the one and only song composed by Joyce, ‘Bid Adieu’ together with a number of Joyce’s poems set to music by such composers as Samuel Barber and Frank Bridge. “This concert has another exciting dimension, as it will also feature a world premiere of a work by the composer Ian Venables. Ian has set one of Joyce’s poems from his collection, ‘Chamber Music III’ to music, for piano and soprano voice”.
QUINTET OP.27 FOR PIANO AND STRINGS
THREE RECENT PERFORMANCES
“This is a work pulsing with genuine personality in every bar, right from its haunting, gently pastoral opening. Its language, proudly, unflinchingly lyrical, has a directness of emotional appeal, and Venables’s rhythms unfold with a sure sense of knowing where they are going.” Christopher Morley, The Birmingham Post
Luton Music Club
Monday 12th March 2018 at 7.45pm
St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Luton LU1 3JF
Programme: Ian Venables: Piano Quintet Op.27 John Ireland: Piano Sonata Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34
Malvern Concert Club
Thursday 15th March 2018 at 7.30pm
Forum Theatre, Grange Rd, Malvern WR14 3HB
Programme: Villa-Lobos: String Quartet No.5, Ian Venables: Piano Quintet, Op.27 Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34
Conway Hall Sunday Concerts
Sunday 18th March 2018 at 6.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
John Ireland: Piano sonata Ian Venables: Piano quintet, Op.27 Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT ‘PERFORMANCES PAGE’
SONGS OF WAR CONCERT
Thursday 25th January at 7.30 pm
St James’s Church
Piccadilly, London W1J PLL
With April Fredrick (soprano), Darwin Leonard, (baritone), Eric McElroy (piano)
This concert is presented jointly by The Robert Graves Society and The Wilfred Owen Association. It includes a wide range of song settings of both Graves and Owen, including those by Ireland, Gurney, Bliss, Butterworth, Elaine Hugh-Jones, Eric McElroy and Ian Venables. The composer’s setting of Owen’s poem ‘The Send Off’ is taken from, ‘Through These Pale Cold Days’ Op. 46 – a song cycle, composed in 2016 to commemorate the Great War. (See below)
A New Publication from Novello (Music Sales)
‘At the Court of the Poisoned Rose’ Op.20
for Countertenor or mezzo soprano and piano
The song ‘At the Court of the Poisoned Rose’ is a setting of a prose poem by the Scottish poetess Marion Angus (1866 – 1946). Published under the title ‘Alas poor Queen’, the poem narrates the tragic story of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots who was manipulated by the political ambitions of those around her. Given the work’s length and sectional nature, the song is more akin to a ‘Dramatic Scena’. It was composed for the counter-tenor James Hugh-Jeffries and was first performed by him and Sarah Wilkinson in June 1996 at Cappleside, Settle. Last year it was performed by David Hurley and Roger Owens at the Three Choirs Festival, Worcester.
Reviewing the concert Richard Bratby wrote, “It’s a striking musical depiction of the struggle between love and power, and the emotional price paid by a queen who ‘loved little things and re-headed partridges, and the golden fishes of the Duc de Guise’.”
To purchase a copy please click the following link
SOMM RECORDS – NEW RELEASE
‘Celebrating English Song’
With baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Susie Allan
“This wonderful Celebration of English Song was recorded especially for SOMM by baritone Roderick Williams deliciously partnered here by Susie Allan in a collection to gladden the hearts of all lovers of English music. This splendidly wide-ranging collection features two well-loved song cycles, Butterworth’s Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad and Finzi’s Let us Garlands bring. It also includes some of the best-known English songs of the periods before and after World War II – Ireland’s world-famous Sea Feverand Great Things and The Kiss and Flying Crooked, from Ian Venables – now widely regarded as the finest living English composer of art songs and a true successor to Benjamin Britten, represented here by two irresistible settings of English folk-songs, The Salley Gardens and The Ploughboy. Also included are songs by Quilter, Gurney, Warlock and E.J. Moeran” – SOMM
To purchase a copy or listen to audio extracts please click on the link below
A New Publication By Novello and Co.
‘Through These Pale Cold Days’ Op.46
Five Songs of War and Remembrance
for voice, viola and piano
The composer’s commemorative 1st WW song cycle has been published by Novello and Co. The work was commissioned by the Limoges Trust for the City of Worcester. Its premiere was given at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester on 30th June 2016 by Nick Pritchard, Benjamin Frith and Lousie Williams and later a 2nd performance at Gloucester Cathedral sung by James Gilchrist.
The music score is available from musicroom.com
Please click the following link: https://www.musicroom.com/product-detail/product1133386/variant1133386/ian-venables-through-these-pale-cold-days/
To hear and audio extract please click the link below
‘Procrastination’ Op.46 no 3
Archery Promotions’ latest publicity brochure showcases Ian Venables’s CD recordings