Ton Verhiel composer
Guy de Lioncourt composer
Augusta Read Thomas composer
Denis Bédard composer
Frederick Hemke composer
Eugène Bozza composer
Leonard Enns composer
Allen Harrington saxophone
Lottie Enns-Braun organ
Ravello Records presents VANISHING POINT, featuring saxophonist Allen Harrington and organist Lottie Enns-Braun in an unusual instrumental pairing not often heard in classical repertoire. “The saxophone and organ are wind instruments that rarely occupy the same space at the same time,” says Enns-Braun, “and it is our contention that this seemingly incongruous combination is actually quite perfect.”
The duo showcases this striking sonic blend with a vibrant collection of pieces, written mostly by living composers and those active in the 20th century. Guy de Lioncourt’s Kyrie setting Melodies Gregoriennes juxtaposes 10th century liturgical chant styles with a modern harmonic sensibility, and on the transcription of Eugène Bozza’s lullaby Chanson à bercer, the duo’s regular encore, the saxophone gently soars over the organ’s lush underpinnings.
Partita Breve by Ton Verhiel and Sonate I by Denis Bédard are both Baroque-inspired contemporary works that bring the era’s signature formal structures into a modern setting. Augusta Read Thomas provides two intensely expressive pieces, Angel Tears and Earth Prayers, that lay bare emotionally-driven material both personal and universal.
Frederick Hemke contributes two miniatures contemplative Norwegian folk song arrangements, Un Mi Gud et Lite Rom (“Grant me God a little room”) and Hus Gud Er Idel Glede (“In God is eternal joy”), which impart a different and distinct flavor to the album.
The collection draws to a close with the title track, Vanishing Point by Leonard Enns. Across its three movements, the piece moves from a frenzied and energetic opening to an ethereal and calm dissolve, blurring the divisions between beginning and end, conflict and resolution.