Music for the Royal Fireworks
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Cármelo de los Santos, violin

Sunday, December 28 at 3pm
Monday, December 29 at 6pm

St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art

Joyful and triumphant!

Santa Fe Pro Musica celebrates the holidays with Music for the Royal Fireworks, featuring the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra (Thomas O’Connor, conductor) and virtuoso Brazilian violinist Cármelo de los Santos performing beloved works of baroque composers on December 28 and 29 in St. Francis Auditorium.

St Francis Orchestra 3

Music for the Royal Fireworks
Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra
Thomas O’Connor, conductor
Cármelo de los Santos, violin

Sunday, December 28 at 3pm
Monday, December 29 at 6pm

St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe Plaza
107 West Palace Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501

TICKETS: $20, $35, $45, $65 at the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office (505) 988-4640, Tickets Santa Fe at The Lensic (505) 988-1234, or online at www.santafepromusica.com

Discounts for students, teachers, groups, and families are available exclusively through the Santa Fe Pro Musica Box Office.

Meet the Music: Learn more about the music you love! Thomas O’Connor, Santa Fe Pro Musica Conductor and Music Director, will present a “behind the scenes” discussion of the music one hour prior to each concert at the St. Francis Auditorium – Free to ticket holders.

The 2014-2015 Season is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the 1% Lodgers Tax, and New Mexico Arts (a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs).

Lodging Partner:

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Advertising Partner:


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The Program:

Telemann Water Music
Vivaldi “Autumn” from The Four Seasons
Vivaldi “Winter” from The Four Seasons
Handel Music for the Royal Fireworks

Notes by Carol Redman

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Water Music

Scored for 2 flutes (plus piccolo), 2 oboes, bassoon, string orchestra and keyboard

Telemann’s Water Music is an instrumental suite, a form derived from French opera and ballet at the court of Louis XIV (1638-1715). These extravagant musical productions begin with an overture announcing the arrival of the King. The overture is followed by dances, interludes, and character-pieces. As this form gained popularity, composers created original and independent suites with no connection to opera or ballet.

Telemann composed his Water Music in 1723 for the centennial celebration of the College of the Admiralty in Hamburg, Germany. For the festivities Telemann wrote a suite with representations of the River Elbe and the gods and nymphs of the sea. Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, is a trusting and gentle god who, with his wife Doris, had fifty lovely daughters, the nymphs of the sea (Nereids). After the overture, the first two dances illustrate their favorite daughter, Thetis, sleeping (Sarabande, a slow, sensual dance) and awakening (Bourrée, a fast dance). These are followed by a dance traditionally played on bagpipes (Loure), depicting the amorous Neptune, Lord and Ruler of the Sea. Then we hear the Nereids at play (Gavotte). Triton, the son of Neptune, appears with his trumpet shell in a comic character-piece (Harlequinade). The stormy Aeolus, god of the winds, blusters through a movement Vivaldi would be proud to call his own. Then follows the calm after the storm in a cool menuet. A gentle Gigue bobs with the ebb and flow of the River Elbe. Telemann concludes Water Music with rollicking mariners on shore leave in an exotic dance from the Canary Islands (Canarie).

Antonio Vivaldi (1687-1741)
Autumn and Winter from The Four Seasons

Scored for solo violin, string orchestra and keyboard

Vivaldi was a virtuoso violinist from Venice, the composer of hundreds of spirited and inventive instrumental works, and is recognized as the master of the Baroque concerto. Vivaldi’s kinetic rhythms, fluid melodies and brilliant instrumental effects make his music some of the most popular from the Baroque era. He established the standard three-movement concerto form in which a slow movement appears between two fast outer movements. He is also credited with inventing the ritornello form that became standard for the fast movements of concertos. The ritornello is a musical theme played by the full orchestra that returns throughout the movement, alternating with passages dominated by the soloist who introduces new and often virtuosic music.

Vivaldi’s violin concertos The Four Seasons constitute one of the most famous and beloved collections of string music. Each concerto is prefaced by a poem that describes its contents, and their programmatic nature brings seasonal sights and sounds to the ear.


  1. The peasants celebrate the good harvest with singing, dancing, and drinking wine (Vivaldi notated some of the solo violin passages with the description “the drunkard”).
  2. When the singing and dancing stops, everyone falls asleep.
  3.  The hunters set out with horns, guns, and dogs. The wild beasts flee, but become tired and are caught.


  1. Shivering in the cold and in the icy wind, and with chattering teeth, he stamps his feet to keep warm.
  2. He contentedly sits by the fire while the rain beats down.
  3. Walking on the ice, first carefully, then boldly, he slips and falls. The winds fight each other, but winter still brings pleasure.

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Music for the Royal Fireworks

Scored for 3 oboes, 2 bassoons, 3 horns, 3 trumpets, timpani, string orchestra and keyboard

To celebrate the end of the War of Austrian Succession (1748), King George II hired Chevalier Servandoni to design a fireworks display. Servandoni was a famous stage designer for the Paris Opera and well known for his spectacular stage machinery. For this commission, he designed a fireworks machine 114 feet high and 410 feet long, containing more than 10,000 rockets, and brought in a team of Italian pyro-technicians to operate the huge contraption. At the King’s request, Handel wrote music for a large ensemble of “war-like instruments” to accompany the fireworks display. On April 21, 1749 there was a rehearsal held in Vauxhall Gardens, and according to varying descriptions, between 50 and 100 wind and percussion instruments participated. Public interest was keen; the rehearsal drew an audience of 12,000 and created a traffic jam that tied up London Bridge for hours. The actual performance took place on the evening of April 27, 1749 and it did not go well. English and Italian technicians argued about the operation and safety of the machine. There was an explosion, and a pavilion caught fire. The frustrated Chevalier Servandoni drew his sword and had to be disarmed and arrested.

One month later Handel performed his Fireworks Music for the Foundling Hospital, though with fewer winds and percussion, in a gentler configuration that included a string orchestra. Music for the Royal Fireworks was Handel’s last orchestral composition.

Photo by Leko Machado

Photo by Leko Machado

About Cármelo de los Santos

Brazilian-born violinist Cármelo de los Santos enjoys an exciting career as a soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. From his extensive concerto appearances to his recent performances of the 24 Caprices by Paganini, his virtuosity and musical commitment captivate audiences worldwide.

At the age of sixteen Cármelo gained celebrity status in Brazil by winning its most prestigious music competition, the Eldorado Prize, in São Paulo. Since then he has been a guest soloist with more than 40 orchestras, including the New World Symphony, Santa Fe Pro-Musica, the Santa Fe, and New Mexico Symphonies, the Montevideo Philarmonic, Orchestra Musica d’Oltreoceano (Rome), and the major orchestras in Brazil. Cármelo has collaborated with renowned conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Alejandro Posada, Jean-Jaques Werner, Guillermo Figueroa, Eric Shumsky, Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Yeruham Scharovsky, Jorge Pérez-Gómez, Roberto Tibiriçá, and Jean Reis, among others.

In 2002 Cármelo made his New York debut as soloist and conductor in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall with the ARCO Chamber Orchestra.

Cármelo has won prizes in several international competitions, including the first prize at the 4th Júlio Cardona International String Competition (Portugal), first prize at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Collegiate Artist Competition (USA), and second prize in the Young Artist International Competition (Argentina).

With pianist Carla McElhaney and cellist Joel Becktell, Cármelo has formed the group REVEL, a “classical band” based in Austin. The group believes that music is a transformative tool best shared in informal, intimate settings. They present events that they refer to as “revels,” in which audience members enjoy the music on a “first-name” basis. The group performs masterworks for duos and piano trio, and also arranges modern and popular works in a signature style that has become a mainstay of their repertoire.

Cármelo’s commitment to young musicians brings him to music festivals and master classes throughout the world. In his native Brazil, he enjoys working with at-risk students from social programs similar to Venezuela’s famous El Sistema.

Cármelo holds a Bachelor’s degree from Rio Grande do Sul Federal University, Brazil, a Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Georgia. His teachers were Fredi Gerling, Marcello Guerchfeld, Sylvia Rosenberg, and Levon Ambartsumian. As a student, he performed in master classes and had consultations with Isaac Stern, Boris Belkin, Eugene Fodor, and Shlomo Mintz, and numerous others.

Cármelo’s 2009 CD release, Sonatas Brasileiras, presents sonatas by Villa-Lobos, Guarnieri, and Santoro (UFRGS Label) and received that year’s Açorianos Prize (Brazil) for best Classical CD, along with the year’s Best Classical Performer prize. The CD “Magic Hour” with REVEL – works for piano trio by Beethoven, Piazzolla, and Kenji Bunch, plus original arrangements by the group – was released in 2012 and can be purchased at www.revelmusic.org.

Two CDs are scheduled for release in 2013: “Brazilian Violin Showpieces” – short pieces for violin and piano by Brazilian composers, with pianist Ney Fialkow; and “French Composers,” with the Sonata for Violin and Piano by Debussy, and Ernest Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, recorded live at the 2012 Bonneville Chamber Music Festival.

Highlights of Cármelo’s 2013 calendar are the DVD recording of the 24 Caprices by Paganini, and an invitation to judge the 1st Art Center Tokyo International Violin Competition in Kobe, Japan.

Cármelo is an Associate Professor of Violin at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where he lives with his wife Eugenia and son Arthur. He plays on a Carl Becker violin, 1929.

Read more at https://carmelodelossantos.com/


About Santa Fe Pro Musica

Santa Fe Pro Musica, founded in 1980, is a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to inspiring and educating audiences of all ages through the performance of great music. Pro Musica performs a varied repertoire, covering four centuries of music on modern and baroque instruments, including works for chamber orchestra, small ensemble and large-scale works for orchestra and chorus. In 2008, Pro Musica’s recording of Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (chamber arrangement by Schoenberg) was nominated for a GRAMMY® award in the classical category of Best Classical Album/Small Ensemble. In August of 2012, Santa Fe Pro Musica Recordings produced a CD of Conrad Tao, pianist, performing Mozart Piano Concertos No. 17 and No. 25 and in 2013 produced a CD of music by Britten and Vaughan Williams. In addition to gaining national recognition over its 32 years for its artistry in performance, Santa Fe Pro Musica offers some of the most distinguished educational opportunities in northern New Mexico, reaching thousands of students every year with a Youth Concert series, a team-building, ensemble-training program, and a master class series for New Mexico School for the Arts students, area students, and UNM ensembles.

The 2014-2015 Season is partially funded by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the 1% Lodgers Tax, and New Mexico Arts (a Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs). For more information, please visit our website: www.santafepromusica.com


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