Requiem Aeternam

Composed: 2017
Duration: 5 minutes
First performance:
Commissioned: by Bryce and Cynthia Somerville.
Available: Novello and Co Ltd (2019)

Programme note

Ian Venables was commissioned by Bryce and Cynthia Somerville to write a Requiem Mass in memory of their parents, Thomas and Doreen. Initially, the composer suggested setting only the words to the Introit but following its acclaimed premiere in September 2017 he decided to fulfil the  original commission and write a full Requiem Mass. This was published last year by Venables’ publisher Novello and Co. and received its concert premiere in London.

A tranquil and contemplative organ solo introduces the Introit’s principal thematic material. The choir enters intoning a melismatic phrase on the words Requiem aeternam that leads to an intense climax on  Et lux perpertua. More fragmented melodic lines now lead to an impassioned climax on the words in Jerusalem only to dissolve into the reflective music of the opening Requiem aeternam.