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Gabriel 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.

This 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.

His 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.

This 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 Gabriel. 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.

- duration: 6'

- (1997)

3(3rd db. picc.)/2+E.h./2+E-flat/2+cbn. - 4/3/3/1
timp. - 3 perc. -strings

 


 

 

 

photos of the composer
with conductor George Schram
at the premiere performances