Vanishing points
a tableau for orchestra

John Rea
John Rea
Composition Date: 1983
Duration: 00:14:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 2 x Flute
  • 2 x Oboe
  • 2 x Clarinet
  • 2 x Bassoon
  • 2 x Horn
  • 2 x Trumpet
  • 1 x Percussion
  • 1 x Unspecified bowed strings
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
Programme Note:
Vanishing Points (1983) is the last panel of a musical triptych which includes Hommage à Vasarely (1977) for orchestra and Treppenmusik (1982) for an ensemble of saxophones, clarinets and strings. The visual art have been the source of inspiration for all three works.
Hommage à Vasarely, as the title suggests, attempts a musical evocation of the geometrical patterns found in the work of Victor Vasarely (1908-1997), whereas Treppenmusik ("staircase music") draws upon the loop-like designs and illusions of the Dutch artist, M. C. Escher (1898-1972).

Vanishing Points, while not connected to any one artist's work in particular, nevertheless alludes to the "vanishing point(s)" often found in paintings. Quick-moving melodies vanish and reappear in continuous accelerandi reminiscent of the perceptual effects in art resulting from the convergence of two or more lines in order to produce the impression of perspective.

The work was commissioned by the National Youth orchestra for the ensemble Esprit Contemporain and is dedicated to its founder-conductor, Alex Pauk.



  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 R281va
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • August 30, 1989
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (80 p.) ;
    80 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Pour orchestre: 2222 - 2200 - 1perc - str[min.]
    Percussion: vibraphone, marimba, bongos, snare drum, large suspended cymbal.
    En 1 mouvement.
    Ms. (photocopy); original in CMC Montréal.

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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver