Arturo Márquez
Born 1950, in Álamos, Mexico
3 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, strings
Performance time
7 minutes
Released in 2009
Last Performed by the TSO
September 17, 2023

The music of Arturo Márquez is marked by its use of Mexican and Latin American styles of folk and street music in a concert context. His father was a player in mariachi bands and the sounds familiar from his childhood echo throughout his compositions. The Conga del Fuego Nuevo is a lively dance colorfully orchestrated and driven by the large percussion section. The tradition of conga music originated in Cuba and spread outward becoming a form of popular music in Mexico and Central and South America. The word conga also refers to the drum that in Márquez’s piece provides the traditional rhythm of the duple time conga dance throughout. The piece is a tapestry of musical styles, however, including mariachi-like trumpet parts. The title comes from an Aztec ceremony in which all fires were extinguished and new ones started to
symbolize the starting of a new world.

Benjamin P. Skoronski