is an angel famous for three events. As messenger from
God he told Mary she would be the mother of Jesus, starting
Christianity. As messenger from God he gave the Koran
to the Prophet Mohammed, starting Islam. And, according
to legend, he will play trumpet to herald the end of
the world. Quite a career for an angel and a musician.
music traces in a kind of cinematic form the moods of
these three roles for the angel - lyric, dramatic, and
apocalyptic - all the while trying to keep the common
thread of what also fascinates people about Gabriel
the angel - besides his religious role, and symbolic
trumpet playing to announce the final curtain.
wings, of course, and capacity to fly. We can envy that.
The beating of wings and soaring and gliding are all
portrayed, while the score often calls upon the trumpet
to be the airborne voice of love, struggle, and ending.
And inevitably, this six-minute orchestral piece concludes,
as everything does, with Gabriel's trumpet ending the
world on a high note.
work was originally the first movement of a trumpet
concerto commissioned in 1988 by Doc Severinsen and
the Phoenix and North Carolina Symphonies. Doc wanted
to have some aspect of his post-Tonight Show career
on the serious side of orchestra life, and commissioned
some concertos for himself to premiere and test drive.
That is the origin of the prominent trumpet part in
It's also the source of its flying motif, as the concerto
was originally called "The Phoenix." After
some reworking, the first movement was given a "second
life" as Gabriel
through the Nashville Symphony's American Encore Series.
db. picc.)/2+E.h./2+E-flat/2+cbn. -
- 3 perc. -strings