Event Description

The 33rd Season concludes with a bombastic set of works featuring The Symphony Orchestra & Chorus in full, led by our new Principal Conductor Guillermo Figueroa. The afternoon begins with one of the most popular works by one of today’s great living choral composers, Morten Lauridsen: his Lux Aeterna for chorus and chamber orchestra. Mendelssohn’s complex setting of Psalm 114, “Da Israel aus Ägypten zog,” for double chorus and orchestra, will be sure to astound. Finally, the season comes to a grand finale with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, likely the very best loved work by that perpetually astounding composer.

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Concert Notes

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017, AT 7:00 PM

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2017, AT 4:00 PM

Lux Aeterna
Morten Lauridsen

Morten Lauridsen grew up in the Pacific Northwest and studied composition at the University of Southern California with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, and Robert Linn. For the last three decades he has taught composition at USC, and from 1990 until 2002 he served as chairman of the composition faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music. Lauridsen composed Lux Aeterna in 1995–1997, and it was first performed on April 13, 1997, by Paul Salamunovich and the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia. Lux Aeterna has become something of a sensation in choral music: over the past decades it has had numerous performances and has been recorded on both sides of the Atlantic.

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, opus 67
Ludwig van Beethoven

No one can remember hearing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for the first time—this music is so much a part of us that we seem to be born knowing it. The Fifth surrounds us: as background music for chocolate and motor oil commercials, as the symbol for Victory in World War II, as the stuff of jokes. Even children who know nothing about classical music sing its opening four notes on playgrounds. Those four notes are the most famous in classical music, and Beethoven’s Fifth is certainly the most famous symphony ever written.

Music so white-hot in intensity, so universal in appeal, cries out for interpretation, and over the last two centuries many have been ready to tell us what this symphony “means.” To some, it is Fate knocking at the door. To one nineteenth-century critic, it told the story of a failed love affair. Others see it as the triumph of reason over chaos and evil. Still others have advanced quite different explanations. But engaging as such interpretations are, they tell us more about the people who make them than about the music itself. The sad truth is that this music is so over-familiar that we have almost stopped listening to it: the opening rings out, and our minds go on automatic pilot for the next thirty minutes—we have lost the capacity to listen to the Fifth purely as music, to comprehend it as the astonishing and original musical achievement that it is.

The Symphony acknowledges with thanks our season program notes contributor, Eric Bromberger.

& Musicians

Principal Conductor

Guillermo Figueroa


The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra


The Santa Fe Symphony Chorus

Meet The Composers