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‘Looking Back’ and Looking Forward

Although the worldwide Armistice Day commemorations held on the 11th November 2018 marked the official 100th year anniversary of the ending of the Great War sporadic outbreaks of hostilities continued until the  formal ending took place with the signing of The Treaty of Versailles on the 28th June 1919. To coincide with the climax to the 2018 commemorations, The Philomusica of Gloucestershire performed a concert of remembrance music in Tewkesbury Abbey on the eve of Armistice Day. The concert included the composer’s large-scale choral work, ‘Awake, awake, the world is young’ Op.34. 

This work was commissioned by  the Charlton King’s and Cirencester Choral Societies to mark the Millennium in November 2000 and the texts reflected  the composer’s hope that this significant moment in history might bring into sharper focus humanities more noble aspirations. Indeed, the sentiments expressed in both the Tennyson and Flecker poems are those that we all hope for at the start of each New Year.’

The composer’s own response to the WW1 commemorations was his 2016 song cycle Through These Pale Cold Days’ for tenor, viola and piano. Since it’s premiere in June of that year this work has been performed several times both here in the UK and in the USA. In October 2018 it was the centrepiece of a WW1 Commemorative song recital performed by James Gilchrist with the pianist Benjamin Frith and cellist Richard Jenkinson. Its most recent performance was given in San Francisco last November sung by the acclaimed tenor, Brian Thorsett.

Music Score From Novello

Five Songs of War and Remembrance for voice, viola and piano





Requiem Mass – UK  Premiere and Future Performances

In 2017 the composer was commissioned by Bryce and Cynthia Somerville to write a Requiem Mass in memory of their parents. The Mass was given its premiere on All Souls’ Day 2018 by Adrian Partington and the choir of Gloucester Cathedral and the Introit was published earlier that year under the title of Requiem Aeternam (see below)

Review of the premiere by John Quinn for ‘SEEN AND HEARD’

Review  of the premiere by Roderic Dunnett for the ‘CHURCH TIMES’

Requiem ‘Introit published by Novello


“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 also 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


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, anthology; 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




Archery Promotions’ latest publicity brochure showcases Ian Venables’s CD recordings

Please click here to purchase CD recordings.