Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Ian Venables: Forthcoming CD of Chamber Music on SOMM

One of the highlights of British Music for 2010 will be the launch of Ian Venables’ new CD from SOMM. Venables is well known in musical circles for his vocal music and has been described as 'one of the finest song composers of his generation.’ He has written more than fifty works in this genre, including a number of song-cycles:many of these songs have been recorded and issued on CD.
However, Venables has written a good deal over the years for chamber ensembles including music for wind instruments and piano and a string quartet. So it is good to see that SOMM have chosen to release a retrospective of some five pieces from this repertoire.

Quoting from the pre-release notes from SOMM:-
Of the premiere recordings on this disc, The Piano Quintet Op. 27 (1995) - described by Roderic Dunnett in the Independent as ‘…lending a new late 20th- Century dimension to the English pastoral…’ was premiered at the Malvern Festival in 1996 by The Duke Quartet and pianist Scott Mitchell. The Soliloquy for piano and viola Op. 26 was commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival in 1995, as a result of the composer’s friendship with the then Three Choirs Secretary, the author, Anthony Boden. The Poem for Cello and Piano Op. 29 was written as the result of a commission from Thomas and Doreen Somerville to celebrate the 40th birthday of their son Bryce. This is a sombre work which belies the celebratory nature of the commission and is passionate, despairing and resigned by turns.

Based on Ian Venables’ String Quartet, Op. 32 and his Elegy for Cello and Piano, Op.2 this will be a disc well worth waiting for. And what is more, I have been invited to the CD launch – so a report on that as well as a review of the CD will feature in future posts!

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