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Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Ian Venables, Requiem, Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Jonathan Hope, Adrian Partington
The work shows a natural sympathy towards the satb sound possibilities and a general diatonic, lyrical manner which is well constructed and appealing. Organist Jonathan Hope realizes the instrumental part with subtlety and warmth This is music that revels in consonance and concordance--yet it does not strike one as particularly backward looking.
As a bonus there are four additional short sacred choral works that supplement the program and further our ear pleasure--compositions by John Sanders (1933-2003), John Joubert (1927-2019), Ivor Gurney (1890-1937) (edited by Venables) and a final Venables capstone work that springs forward rhythmically and sends us off in happy ways..
This is a beautifully performed program. Kudos to the soloists and choir, kudos to the director, to the organist, to all involved. It is not a program of ultra-Modern things. Nor is it a deliberate stepping back. It is the very successful determination to craft a straightforward lyrical consonance that stands on its own feet and can take us on flights to musically memorable and uplifting heights.