Friday, 29 October 2010

Ian Venables: Report of the launch of his new CD of chamber music on SOMM

A few weeks ago I reported that I had been invited to the CD launch of Ian Venables new CD of chamber music. I suggested then that this recording would one of the highlights of the year for British music enthusiasts. Well, I am still listening to the CD, but all the signs are that it is one of the most important retrospectives of the composer’s music. Certainly the CD launch went well...

I always enjoy attending a book or CD launch. Apart from the item being ‘launched’ the most important part of the event is always the people whom one meets. Someone once said that very often it is the ‘usual suspects.’ And so it was last night. I will not name names: suffice to say that I spoke to musical authors, arrangers, composers, performers and the Director of an important composer trust.
The evening opened with a brief welcome and introduction from Siva Oke who is the leading light of SOMM Recordings. Siva has done so much for music – especially British and to her credit are cycles of piano music from Frank Bridge and John Ireland. Then the composer gave a brief introduction and thanks to all concerned. Then ‘yours truly’ presented a brief introduction to ‘The Man and his Music’. However the highlight of the evening was the musically illustrated talk by Graham Lloyd – who, incidentally plays the piano on most of the tracks on this CD. Apart the ‘dodgy’ sound from the system in the Royal Over-Seas League meeting room, the music was impressive and judging by the applause at the end of the talk, this CD has already begun to make waves.
After a lot more chatting and ‘networking’ I joined Ian and a few friends for supper at the Cafe Richoux in Piccadilly. A good time was had by all until people began to leave to catch trains and tubes home...

As I only got my copy of the CD on Wednesday night, I have not had time to review it! However I have listened to the Quintet: it is a fine work that once again balances the composer’s imagination with his understating of past musical language. I look forward to listening to the rest of this CD over the next few days.
The CD has recordings of Ian Venables Piano Quintet, Op.27; Three Pieces for violin& piano, Op.11; the Elegy, Op.2, the Soliloquy for viola & piano and the bleak Poem for cello & piano.

This CD will be available in the shops soon or from the SOMM website

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