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CHAMBER: Archangels | STACY GARROP • COMPOSER

Archangels


I. Michael (Warrior)
II. Raphael (Healer)
III. Gabriel (Heralder)

VIDEO
Christopher Creviston, Samuel Detweiler, and Justin Rollefson, soprano saxophones

YEAR COMPOSED
2018

COMMISSIONERS
Christopher Creviston, Samuel Detweiler, and Justin Rollefson, soprano saxophones

ORDERING SCORES
Theodore Presser Company
Flute edition: coming in 2021/2022
Clarinet edition: coming in 2021/2022


PROGRAM NOTES

I have always been fascinated with the concept of archangels – huge, supernatural beings with gigantic wings who visit earth to carry out their heavenly tasks. Archangels are the “chief” angels in Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions. The precise number of these high-ranking celestial beings varies from one religious source to another (typically from four to seven). The three movements of Archangels depict Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel—the three archangels most commonly referenced.

Michael is a warrior who is ever vigilant to march into battle against forces of evil. In art, he is often portrayed with his wings spread open in mid-flight and wielding a large sword that is raised into an attack position. The first movement begins with the foreboding sound of his large, beating wings. Suddenly, Michael appears in all of his terrible glory and wreaks havoc on an army of demons.

Raphael is a Hebraic name that translates to “God heals,” and he is in charge of all manners of healing. Artwork of Raphael typically shows him holding a staff, and he is often pictured with the round cheeks associated with a young cherub. In this quiet middle movement, Raphael gently makes his rounds to tend to the sick.

Gabriel is the heralder of news. In Christianity, Gabriel’s purpose is quite significant: he appears to Zechariah to announce the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary to announce the forthcoming birth of Jesus. Gabriel is often depicted holding a scepter, a stem of lilies, or an unfurled scroll. In this final movement of the piece, Gabriel trumpets his news for all to hear.

This piece was commissioned by saxophonists Christopher Creviston, Samuel Detweiler, and Justin Rollefson. I subsequently made an arrangement for three flutes.
-S.G.

LISTING FOR CONCERT PROGRAM
Please list the piece as follows:
Archangels
I. Michael (Warrior)
II. Raphael (Healer)
III. Gabriel (Heralder)