Ottorino Respighi wrote his suite, Church Windows: Four Impressions for Orchestra, in 1925-1926. They were based on three earlier piano pieces, which the composer had written after developing an enthusiasm for Gregorian Chant; he incorporated elements of chant into the works. In recasting them for orchestra, Respighi affixed religious titles to the movements: “The Flight into Egypt,” “St. Michael the Archangel,” “The Matins of St. Clare,” and “St. Gregory the Great.” The second movement, “St. Michael,” is full of colorful, dramatic music, seeming to depict the great battle in Heaven described in the Book of Revelation.

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The featured image is “Saint Michael the Archangel by Cesare Dandini (1596 – 1657),” and is in the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. It has been enhanced for clarity.

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