Event Description

What better way to spend Christmas Eve than with The Santa Fe Symphony, your symphony, and the dynamic Anderson & Roe Piano Duo! “ They do have it all, ” says the American Record Guide “and any classical music lover owes it to himself to hear Anderson & Roe.” Don’t miss this world-class performance featuring the four talented hands of Elizabeth Joy Roe and Greg Anderson, the phenomenal talent of our symphony musicians, and Principal Conductor Guillermo Figueroa. With Billboard chart-topping albums, Emmy-nominated music videos, and an extensive international touring schedule, the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo aims to make classical music a relevant and powerful force in society.

HANDEL

Music for the Royal Fireworks

WEBER

Overture to Oberon, J.306

POULENC

Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D Minor

ANDERSON & ROE

Carmen Fantasy, based on themes from Bizet’s Carmen
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

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Concert Notes

Music for the Royal Fireworks
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL
Born February 23, 1685, Magdeburg
Died April 14, 1759, London

The English and the French signed the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle on October 27, 1748, bringing to a close the War of Austrian Succession. That war, which had dragged on for eight years, had proven so exhausting and costly that eventually all the parties were relieved to have it over. The English planned an elaborate victory celebration: George II’s staff brought in the designer Florentine Servandoni, who the following April erected what was called a “Machine” in Green Park, directly across from Buckingham Palace. This structure, over four hundred feet long and a hundred feet high, took the form of a Doric-style pavilion with elaborate wings and a viewing stand. The royal “victory” celebration on April 27, 1749, was to be a real show in every sense of that term: over a hundred cannons would fire a thunderous salute, followed by a massive fireworks show, and Handel was commissioned to write music to accompany all this.

Overture to Oberon
CARL MARIA VON WEBER
Born December 18, 1786, Eutin
Died June 5, 1826, London

In 1824 Covent Garden commissioned an opera from Carl Maria von Weber. It was a great opportunity for the composer, but when the libretto by James Robinson Planché arrived, Weber found himself writing music for an opera of stupefying absurdity. Listeners should know right from the start that the opera bears no relation to Shakespeare. Planché may have borrowed the characters of Oberon, Titania, and Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but he then created a libretto that has nothing to do with that magical play and instead takes its characters through a series of events so fantastic that they are almost impossible to describe.

Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D Minor
FRANCIS POULENC
Born January 7, 1899, Paris
Died January 30, 1963, Paris

Poulenc wrote his Concerto for Two Pianos in the summer of 1932, when he was 33 years old, and he was one of the soloists at the premiere in Venice on September 5 of that year. Concertos for two pianos are comparatively rare. It is difficult to use two such formidable instruments with orchestra, and Poulenc wisely chose to write charming and agreeable music for this combination instead of trying to create a virtuoso display concerto for two pianists simultaneously. It has proven one of his most popular works. Among the most striking features of the Concerto for Two Pianos is its multiplicity of styles, all deftly held together with Poulenc’s breezy and effortless skill. One hears—by turn—tunes from Parisian dance halls, a slow movement in homage to Mozart, sonorities inspired by Balinese gamelan ensembles, and many other styles. Throughout, Poulenc keeps textures light and clear. He is setting out consciously to charm audiences, and in this he succeeds admirably.

ANDERSON & ROE
Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, born in 2002
Greg Anderson & Elizabeth Joy Roe

A concert fantasy in the grand romantic tradition, the Carmen Fantasy for Two Pianos weaves together several distinct scenes from Georges Bizet’s beloved opera Carmen. Serving as an introduction, the work begins with the “Danse Bohémienne” from Act IV, a ballet that is almost always cut from modern performances of the opera. (Incidentally, Bizet used the same material as incidental music to L’Arlésienne.) The introduction is followed by the “Aragonaise” (originally the entr’acte to Act IV, a scene just before the opera’s climactic bullfight), the famous “Habanera” from Act I (in which Carmen sings “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle,” or, “Love is a rebellious bird”), and the “Card Aria” from Act III (in which Carmen reads in the cards that both she and Don José are doomed to die).

Conductors
& Musicians

Principal Conductor

Guillermo Figueroa