Angels Rising


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Score: $10

Angels Rising  for Orchestra with Organ  [13 minutes]

Angels Rising (Excerpts) [9 minutes]

Performed by the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra with Maxim Eshkenazy (Conductor) at the Renée & Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Instrumentation:  Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 3 Oboes, 2 Clarinets (Bb & A), Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Chimes, Percussion, 2 Harps, Piano, Organ, & Strings.

Year Composed:  2009

Program Notes:  

Angels Rising is an optimistic piece of exploration that illustrates the discovery of hope through transformation and triumph.  Structured in three sections, the piece portrays a primary theme that slowly emerges throughout the work.  This journey of discovery is conveyed by music that searches for its’ voice through a sea of fragmented ideas that eventually work themselves out and come together in one unified melody.  The newly found theme is then lifted up and transformed into a hymn-like chorale that is surrounded by a dazzling display as it takes flight into the heavens.

Commissioned by the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, the original concept for Angels Rising was to compose a piece that utilized the orchestra in its four major instrumental sections of percussion, winds, brass, and strings.  With the influence of a “Concerto for Orchestra” behind it, the piece begins with harp and percussion.  Initially, they set a somewhat mysterious mood that quickly becomes an array of working parts that resembles an organic clock.  Adding woodwinds, musical fragments are tossed about between the various instruments while strings come in utilizing their percussive nature to add to the structure.  These fragments build and combine in various iterations, as they slowly grow larger and create various melodies.  When all permutations are almost exhausted, the brass interrupt and boldly proclaim the final arrival of the theme.  In a display of rejoicing, the theme is passed around the brass section in a swirling and antiphonal call and response.  At this point the calls are answered from above by the organ, which takes this canon and transforms it into a soaring hymn-like structure that calls the rest of the instruments to rejoin in the jubilant dance of discovery.  The full orchestra finally comes together as a whole for the last third of the piece as the theme now plays in all of its’ variations of fragments, canons, and hymns in an energetic and jubilant dance that plays out until the end.

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