13 Angels (Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich)
for flute/piccolo, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, cello, and electroacoustics

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson
Composition Date: 2002
Genre: Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Chamber Ensemble (2-9 Performers), Woodwind(s), Keyboard(s) / Bowed String(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Other percussion
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Computer
  • 1 x Tape
  • 1 x Violin
  • 1 x Violoncello
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Programme Note:
'Every angel is terrible,' wrote Rilke, and the notion that beauty and fear flow so easily into one another is a compelling one. I've long been interested in the idea of that which is possibly beautiful. To seek out new beauty is I believe fundamental to living in a whole way, and I find the commonplace fear of such discoveries to be one of the odder aspects of human nature.
'Only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively from his own existence.' My feelings on this are perhaps less romantic than Rilke's; it seems to me that remaining open to possibilities which to some extent exclude the ego is important to this process. As such I have tried to remember both musically and generally that beauty can be found in both simplicity and complexity, and indeed that either one can lead to the other with astonishing clarity and an efficacy which exceeds the limits imposed by one's intellect.
Such thoughts were in my mind during the composition of this piece. It consists of a series of episodes, somewhat related, but not in what might be considered a traditional development. These 'angels' are perhaps not so terrible in their aspect, but they nevertheless reflect for me the latest finds in an ongoing exploration of what might be beautiful, which is, as Rilke wrote, 'as close to terror as we all can endure.'
Commissioned by: Continuum

Premiere Information:
12/11/2002, Music Gallery, Toronto; Continuum, conductor: Patrick Gallois


  • Call Number:
  • MI 9215 W753ang
  • Genre:
  • Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Chamber Ensemble (2-9 Performers), Woodwind(s), Keyboard(s) / Bowed String(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • October 30, 2007
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (55 p.) ; 22 x 28 cm.
    55 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 43
    6 parts ([43] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Flute / Piccolo
    Bb Clarinet
    Percussion (Marimba, Vibraphone, 1 Maraca, Plastic Bag, Paper, Police Whistle, Bowed Suspended Cymbal)
    Electroacoustics (available from the composer)
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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver