Robert Schumann composer
Astor Piazzolla composer
Ralph Vaughan Williams composer
Jean Francaix composer
Jacques Ibert composer
Warren Benson composer
Paule Maurice composer
Allen Harrington saxophone
Laura Loewen piano
On their latest Ravello Records release THE POSTCARD SESSIONS, the Harrington/Loewen Duo offers a sampling of evocative, colorful works for saxophone that have become perennial favorites of both performers and audiences. The album is emblematic of the saxophone’s European ancestry, as well as the saxophonists’ commonplace imperative to arrange works for their instrument.
Originally composed for oboe and piano, Robert Schumann’s Drei Romanzen, Op. 94 (1849) highlights the composer’s melodic skill and sets the lyrical tone that dominates the album. The harmonic performance of Astor Piazzolla’s Ave Maria (1984) was adapted from soprano, strings and piano; while his piece Oblivion (1982), originally written for accordion and orchestra, represents the composer’s most celebrated style: tango. The piano part in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Six Studies in English Folk-Song (1926) achieves a folk character via quintal harmonies and non-traditional voice leading.
Cinq Danses Exotiques (1961) by Jean Francaix, Histoires (1921/1939) by Jacques Ibert, and Aeolian Song (1953) by Warren Benson, all add works of quirky and languorous melodies to the album. Paule Maurice’s Tableaux de Provence (1955), originally for saxophone and orchestra, brings nuances of geography.