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Et Vidi Angelum for SATB by Marco Galvani.

Programme Notes

In this short setting of verses from the Book of Revelation for SATB choir, I have tried to depict the particular descriptions of angels within this part of the Bible. Rather than glittering seraphs, the angels of Revelation come down to earth with almighty devastation, and the physical portrayals take the form of powerful enforcers of God's will. In this piece, commissioned by The Queen's College Chapel Choir for their CD A New Heaven, I have incorporated a number of different pitch sources, including harmonic inflections from early Byzantine and Russian Orthodox chant. The striking image of the Angel descending from heaven, seizing the devil and locking him in the abyss conjured certain textural and structural considerations for me.

I was delighted to have this piece recorded by The Queen's College Chapel Choir, Oxford, for their 2016 CD, A New Heaven.

- Marco Galvani

Et vidi Angelum descendentem de cælo, habentem clavem abyssi, et catenam magnam in manu sua. Et apprehendit draconem, serpentem antiquum, qui est diabolus, et Satanas, et ligavit eum per annos mille: et misit eum in abyssum, et clausit, et signavit super illum ut non seducat amplius gentes, donec consummentur mille anni: et post hæc oportet illum solvi modico tempore.

And I saw an Angel, descending from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a great chain. And he apprehended the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and he bound him for a thousand years. And he cast him into the abyss, and he closed and sealed it, so that he would no longer seduce the nations, until the thousand years are completed. And after these things, he must be released for a brief time.

Book of Revelation 20:1-3

Duration: 3 minutes