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Product Details

  • An MVD Exclusive
  • SKU: ALBCD057
  • Format: CD
  • UPC: 5060158190577
  • Street Date: 06/09/23
  • PreBook Date: 05/05/23
  • Genre: Classical
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Year of Production: 2023
  • Box Lot: 25
  • Territory: US,CA


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Ian Venables - Portraits Of A Mind

2022 marked Vaughan Williams's 150th birthday, for which The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society commissioned a new work from Ian Venables.

Ian Venables - Portraits Of A Mind
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2022 marked Vaughan Williams's 150th birthday, for which The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society commissioned a new work from Ian Venables, one of Britain's most distinguished composers and a master of song composition.

Venables has created a song cycle, Portraits of a Mind, using the same forces (tenor, piano and string quartet) as those specified for Vaughan Williams's song cycle On Wenlock Edge. The work paints a series of five portraits of Vaughan Williams by setting poets associated with him: George Meredith (The Lark Ascending, of course); Ursula Vaughan Williams; Robert Louis Stevenson; Christina Rossetti; and Walt Whitman.

The new work was premiered at The Oxford Lieder Festival last November, and John Quinn (Seen and Heard International) wrote: "These five songs constitute a very fine and eloquent tribute to VW. Venables has achieved a well-deserved reputation as a pre-eminent composer of English song and he proved to be, as I had expected, an ideal choice for this Ralph Vaughan Williams Society commission."

The review continued: "Alessandro Fisher, a past member of the BBC's New Generation Artists scheme (2018-21), made an immediate impression. His ringing voice was ideally suited to the music and I was impressed by the clarity both of his diction and his tone, qualities which were to be a feature of the whole concert."nnOn Wenlock Edge is the ideal companion for this recording - but we knew that Vaughan Williams's Four Hymns were also arranged for tenor, piano and string quartet in 1925, and performed by Steuart Wilson and others. That score is lost, so we commissioned Iain Farrington to create a modern replacement.

The recording was directed by pianist William Vann, accompanied by the Navarra String Quartet.


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