REVIEW OF ‘Requiem Aeternam’
THE ORGAN – Autumn 2019
In our last issue, we carried a review of the London premiere of Ian Venables’ fine new setting of the Requiem, and this new publication is of the first movement of the complete work to have been written and performed in 2017.
It deserve separate publication for two reasons: the first is that it constitutes a noble piece of music, quite capable of standing by its self in any commemoratives sense, and secondly for presenting the material from which the larger work evolved.
Venables is the most significant British composer the voices to have emerged since Brittens death forty three years ago; his understanding of the natural capabilities of the human voice, and his deep love of all kinds of literature, shine through all of his vocal writing, and this work is no exception.
It is both profoundly moving and highly original in terms of harmonic structure – subtle and refined an entirely within the capabilities of any reasonably competent choir.
We understand that Venables’ Requiem has either been or soon will be recorded; when that very welcome CD appears, one hopes that Novello will publish the complete score. Until then, this musical begetter of the finished work is comprehensively recommended.