News Archive (2015)


A Lunchtime recital

with the Senar Duo at St James’ Church, Sussex Gardens, London

Thursday 22nd October


This exciting young duo gave a passionate a performance of the composer’s early Three Pieces for Violin and Piano Op.11

Anna 2The Composer with Anna Ovsyanikova and Julia Sinani

This concert was kindly promoted by Archery Promotions

‘Within a Dream’ – A recital of English Song to celebrate Ian Venables’ 60th birthday with Michael Lampard (baritone) and Patrick Hemmerle (piano) held at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester Sunday, 23rd August.

“…Lampard’s delivery was gripping and imaginative”. “throughout this recital the pianism of Patrick Hemmerle was first rate”. John Quinn’s review for ‘Seen and Heard’

The acclaimed Australian baritone Michael Lampard was joined by award winning French pianist, Patrick Hemmerle in an all English programme of song. The centerpiece of their Michael Lampard and Ian Venablesprogramme was a rare opportunity to hear a complete performance of Elgar’s Sea Pictures. This memorable concert also featured songs by Ian Venables as well as the premiere of ‘In a Parlor Containing a Table’, text by Galway Kinnell, written especially for Michael Lampard. Their recital also included a fine group of songs by the composer Mary Taylor to poems by Edward Thomas. “…One of the highlights of the entire programme was Lampard’s lovely account of Midnight Lamentation; he sang this eloquent song with great feeling, deploying a seamless legato”. John Quinn

Michael and Patrick

Please click here for the full review of the concert in ‘Seen and Heard’

‘The Moon Sails Out’ – A New EM RECORDS CD

“… the sense of purpose and sureness of line in Ian Venables’s music is pure oxygen.”

“… At Malvern is lifted clean out of routine English pastoral territory by its haunting melody and poised accompaniment.” Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine

“But the gem of this release has to be the selection of works by Ian Venables, his language instantly gripping, his message genuinely catching the heart”

Christopher Morley, The Birmingham Post. (Please click here for the full review)

“Ian Venables is a poet-craftsman who writes in a sincere and impressive lyrical style”.

Rob Barnett, Musicweb-International. (Please click here for the full review)

The Moon Sails OutThis EM Records release of British cello music performed by the Jenkinson Frith Duo presents World Première recordings by Cyril Scott, Ivor Gurney and Ian Venables.

“Ian Venables, like Gurney, has not only made song a central part of his output but has also composed chamber works of equal beauty and intensity. As well as the early ‘Elegy’ and the later ‘Poem’ the other three works featured on this disc are transcriptions of two of his most evocative songs and a rhapsodic paraphrase of the song, The Moon Sails Out“.

To purchase this CD please click the following link The Moon Sails Out – EM RECORDS CD

On July 25th this year Ian Venables will celebrate his 60th birthday. This milestone in the composer’s life provides an opportunity to take stock and reflect on what has been achieved over some forty years of composition. In the field of art-song, an assessment of his significant contribution was recently made by the musicologist, Roderic Dunnett. His detailed study of the composer’s art-songs, was published in the Finzi Friends 2014 annual journal. He wrote,

“If there are several composers who have sought to revive or reinvigorate or at least contribute to the tradition, the outstanding figure in this field, one who has made the regeneration of the early twentieth-century song tradition his metier and raison d’être, and who is supreme in the field of English song composition, is Ian Venables”

(For the full text of his article please click The Music of Ian Venables by Roderic Dunnett)

British Music Festival – Birmingham Conservatoire

Sunday 14th June – Tuesday 16th June

British_Music_Festival_A5The Birmingham Conservatoire’s British music Festival gets underway with a rare opportunity to hear three British piano concertos performed by Mark Bebbinton with The Innovation Chamber Ensemble (strings from the CBSO) conducted by Richard Jenkinson. The three concerto works on the programme are by Gordon Jacob, Malcolm Williamson and Doreen Carwithen.

The concert starts at 3 pm.

The festival continues on Monday and Tuesday with the showcasing of contrasting works by Bridge, Bowen, Ireland, Furguson, Howells, Robert Matthew-Walker and Ian Venables. For further details please see the EVENTS page.

The London English Song Festival – Wednesday 10th June

images-1 ‘Vocalise: songs for voices and woodwind’

With Alessandro Fisher (tenor), Matthew Scott (clarinet) and festival director William Vann (piano). This concert Includes a performance of ‘Ionian Song’ from the composer’ song cycle, On the Wings of Love Op.38. (Please visit EVENTS for further details)

A New YouTube Recording by Suzanne Leslie


Continuing her brilliant cycle of performances of the composer’s piano music, Suzanne Leslie has now recorded for Youtube Caprice Op.35. (Please click HERE).

The Gloucester Music Society’s – English Chamber Music Day

Saturday 18th April, St Mary de Lode Church, Gloucester

with the Goldfield Ensemble

Goldfield Ensemble with Vicky Wright

Goldfield Ensemble with Vicky Wright

Review by Christopher Morley in the Birmingham Post

“Gloucester Music Society celebrated the end of its 85th anniversary season with a blockbuster double-bill of English chamber music, with afternoon and evening concerts on April 18th, the hardworking Goldfield Ensemble taking us through works by Howells, Bliss, Rubbra, Ireland and Ian Venables.

Ian Venables speaking at GMSI

Ian Venables speaking at the GMS

Ian Venables

But then came balm, with Ian Venables’ poignant little Canzonetta for clarinet and string quartet.During its short length this treasurable piece moves from poignant desolation through lilting melancholy surely redolent of Brahms Clarinet Quintet to an ending of tintinnabulatory celebration.The Goldfield’s, featuring the fabulously-controlled clarinettism (new word)? of Vicky Wright did it proud”.

A New CD recordings on EM Records and Signum Records

This year will see the release of two new CDs featuring the composer’s music. The first (to be released in May), presents all Venables’ music written for ‘cello and piano and includes the premiere recording of The Moon Sails Out Op.42, as well as arrangements of two of his songs It Rains Op.33a and At Malvern Op.24a. This EM Records recording was made at the CBSO centre last November by Richard Jenkinson (‘cello) and Benjamin Frith (piano). For further information and details about how to subscribe please click the following link

EM Records CD – Music for ‘Cello and Piano by Ian Venables

The second CD is a recording of Ian Venables’ song cycles and other songs for baritone, string quartet and piano. The centre-piece of this disc is the premiere recording of his chamber song cycle, The Song of the Severn Op.43. This work was commissioned by the Malvern Concert Club with funds by the Kay Trust in 2012. The disc also includes, the song cycle, The Pine Boughs Past Music Op.39 (commissioned by the Gloucester Music Society) as well as arrangements by Graham J.Lloyd of four of his songs for string quartet. The performers on this Signum Records CD are, Roderick Williams (baritone), The Carducci String Quartet and Graham J.Lloyd (piano). This recording will be released in July.

Other Events This Year

Other important events this year include the Australian Premiere of The Song of the Severn Op.43 by the exciting young baritone, Michael Lampard (See EVENTS ), the 4th UK performance of the composer’s Canzonetta Op.44 for clarinet and string quartet by the Goldfield Ensemble, a performance of Ionian Song Op.38 no 1 for voice, clarinet and piano at this year’s London English Song Festival ( June 10th), and a 60th birthday concert at Leighton House in the autumn. (Further details to follow)

A New Publication from Novello and Co

Ian Venables’ Three Pieces for Violin and Piano Op.11

Three Pieces

Three Pieces

The reviewer, David Jennings writing for MusicWeb International said of this work, “The Three Pieces for Violin and Piano are quite early Venables, yet must rank amongst his most attractive works in any genre. They are immediately appealing, yet also reward repeated listening. It seems that Venables’ move to Worcestershire, with its strong Elgarian associations, made a profound impression on him (and) this can be heard in the Pastorale….

The … Romance, is astonishingly fine and is music of heartfelt simplicity. This must rank amongst the most beautiful pieces for violin and piano, and not just from this country. There is a powerful feeling here that time has stood still. The Dance that follows is a perfect foil for the other movements….The engaging subsidiary idea of Venables’ Dance … is as fine as any melody I have heard from this composer. The Three Pieces are truly masterly and deserve to take their place in the standard repertoire”.

To purchase these pieces please click the following link:

Ian Venables’ – Three Pieces for Violin and Piano Op.11

A CD recording of the Three Violin Pieces Op 11, performed by Roger Coull and Graham J. Lloyd, is now available on the SOMM label (SOMMCD 0101) The title of this disc is “Ian Venables – Piano Quintet Op.27” (it includes a recording of the three pieces for violin and Piano)

To purchase this CD please go to (MUSIC STORE )

Birmingham Post’s Classical Music Highlights of 2014

At the end of December last year the writer and musicologist Christopher Morley singled out the premiere of Ian Venables’ Canzonetta Op.44 for clarinet and string quartet as one of his musical highlights of 2014. Writing for the Birmingham Post he said:

“Other premieres I particularly enjoyed included Ian Venables’ Canzonetta for clarinet and string quartet, capturing the essence of the lyrical relationship between these instruments, and a work which brings at last a complement to the Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets. Soloist Timothy Orpen collaborated with the Cavaleri String Quartet in this joint commission celebrating anniversaries of Bromsgrove Concerts and Droitwich Concert Club, and dedicated to the memory of Huw Ceredig, Droitwich chairman and longtime CBSO principal percussionist.

Premiere CD Recording of ‘The Song of the Severn’ and ‘The Pine Boughs Past Music’ For Signum Records (12th/13th December 2014) at St Michael’s Church Summertown, Oxford.

Graham J. Lloyd, The Carducci String Quartet, Roderick Williams and Ian Venables

Graham J. Lloyd, The Carducci String Quartet, Roderick Williams and Ian Venables

St Michael’s Church in Oxford was the venue for Ian Venables’ latest CD recording on Signum Records that features premiere recordings of two of the composer’s most important song-cycles. The acclaimed baritone Roderick Williams, together with the Carducci String Quartet and pianist Graham. J. Lloyd, committed to disc the large-scale chamber song cycle, The Song of the Severn Op.43. This work was commissioned in 2012 by the Malvern Concert Club in association with the Kay Trust. Most of the first day’s recording was devoted to this work but the session concluded with four songs for baritone and string quartet arranged by Graham Lloyd. The second day began with The Pine Boughs Past Music Op.39. This song cycle, for baritone and piano was commissioned by the Gloucester Music Society and is the composer’s homage to Ivor Gurney. The day closed with a recording of five songs for Baritone and piano. The CD was produced by Adrian Peacock and engineered by Mike Hatch and will be released in July 2015.

EM Records –Recording Sessions in Birmingham (26th and 27th November 2014)

Benjamin Frith, Ian Venables, Matthew Dilley and Richard Jenkinson

Benjamin Frith, Ian Venables, Matthew Dilley and Richard Jenkinson

The CBSO centre in Birmingham was the location for a new recording on EM Records of Ian Venables’ complete music for ‘cello and piano. The distinguished Frithjenkinson Duo recorded the composer’s early Elegy Op.2 and Poem Op.29 as well as giving the premiere recordings of arrangements of his songs, ‘At Malvern’ Op.24, ‘It Rains’ Op.33 no2 and ‘The Moon Sails Out’ Op.42. This CD will also feature premiere recordings of cello sonatas by Cyril Scott and Ivor Gurney. The composer was present at the recording sessions. The producer is Matthew Dilley (‘aboutsound’)