Angels, for solo alto saxophone and wind ensemble, was commissioned by saxophonist Lynn Klock for performances by the Franklin & Marshall Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the Boston Metropolitan Winds. This ten-minute concerto features the saxophone section as a “consort of angels” that both physically and acoustically surrounds the solo alto saxophonist. The work was at least partly inspired by passages from Rilke’s Duino Elegies which contain numerous images about angels and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which describes both peaceful and wrathful deities in vast otherworldly realms of the heavens. Central to the aesthetic of the work is the juxtaposition of violent, cataclysmic musical events with moments of simplicity and serenity. The percussion section plays a substantial role (both acoustically and physically on stage) in painting this cosmic landscape. --Notes by the composer

Selected performances of Angels:

Premiere: April 23, 1989, Lynn Klock, saxophonist, Brian Norcross, Musical Director, F&M Symphonic Winds, Lancaster, PA.

2 Performances: April 28, 1990, Lynn Klock, saxophonist, with Malcolm Rowell, Musical Director, Metropolitan Wind Symphony, Norwell, MA, Boston, MA. Sponsored in part by the Selmer Corporation.

February 6, 1992, 40th Anniversary of Eastman Wind Ensemble, Jamie Kalyn, saxophone, Sydney Hodkinson, conductor, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Rochester, NY.

May 14, 1993, Jerry Luedders, saxophone, David Whitwell, conductor, the California State University, Northridge Wind Ensemble, Northridge, CA.

© John Carbon 2015