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Music of the Spheres

  • Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts 250 East Beach Street Watsonville, CA, 95076 United States (map)

OCTOBER 7/8, 2017

We open our 60th Anniversary season with music of specific and sacred place, reflective of the harmony within ourselves and within the universe. Beginning with Vivaldi’s immortal rendering of The Four Seasons, featuring our renowned concertmaster Nigel Armstrong, we will then present Holst’s equally famous and fantastical suite of astrological archetypes, The Planets.


Santa Cruz Symphony's concertmaster, Nigel Armstrong, will be performing Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, a group of four violin concerti by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives a musical expression to a season of Earth's year.

The four concerti each has 3 short movements, and the whole collection lasts approximately 42 minutes. Sections of this piece have been used in numerous movies, TV shows and commercials, most notably the 1981 film The Four Seasons with Alan Alda. Even today, Vivaldi's work continues to inspire contemporary soloists and composers. 

The Planets is a seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, written between 1914 and 1916. Each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character as defined by Holst. Earth was not included because it is based on astrological, not astronomical, planets. Pluto was not included because it had not yet been discovered. The complete composition lasts approximately 49 minutes. 


Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (Listen)

"Spring" (La primavera) - Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269
1. Allegro (in E major)
2.Largo e pianissimo sempre (in C♯ minor)
3.Allegro pastorale (in E major)

"Summer" (L'estate) - Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315
1. Allegro non molto (in G minor)
Adagio e piano - Presto e forte (in G minor)
3. Presto (in G minor)

"Autumn" (L'autunno) - Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293
1. Allegro (in F major)
2. Adagio molto (in D minor)
3. Allegro (in F major)

"Winter" (L'inverno) - Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297
1. Allegro non molto (in F minor)
2. Largo (in E♭ major)
3. Allegro (in F minor)

  Nigel Armstrong, violin

--- Intermission ---

Holst - The Planets (Listen)

1. Mars, the Bringer of War
2. Venus, the Bringer of Peace
3. Mercury, the Winged Messenger
4. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
5. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
6. Uranus, the Magician
7. Neptune, the Mystic

Earlier Event: October 7
Music of the Spheres
Later Event: November 18
Embracing the Dance