Requiem Review by Rebecca Tavener

Review of Requiem Op.48

The Organist, March 2020 

By Rebecca Tavener

Those of us who are not composers can you imagine how difficult it must be to be asked by friends to write a setting of the Requiem mass, so there’s no wonder that it took Ian Venables 

Some time to come around to the idea. We must be glad that he did for quality British settings scarce and is good to welcome one from a composer who clearly appreciates the liturgy. Venables has chosen more-or-less the standard sequence, omitting the Dies Irae, and avoiding the treble Pie Jesu cliche by keeping the opening solo short I’m not too sweet. A few other brief solos emerge from this solidly choral setting which is full of contrast, occasional drama, and an expressive range the demands an experienced choir capable of divisi in all sections. The use of modal whole money is interesting and attractive and the organ parties written with accomplishment and taste.