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Melencolia I is the title of an engraving by Albrecht Dürer. It depicts an angelic figure pondering a variety of mathematical, scientific and geometric objects. To the right is a “magic square,” a 4 x 4 collection of the numbers 1 through 16 whose rows, columns, and diagonals all add to the number 34. The two numbers in the middle of the bottom row indicate the date of the work: 1514. The music is entirely constructed using melodic lines derived from the rows, diagonals, and columns of the magic square. Le Cirque, a painting by George Seurat, depicts a scene from a circus. Seurat was influenced by the teachings of Charles Henry, a professed scientist of aesthetics who advocated the use of certain angle sizes to achieve heightened aesthetic value in art. Henry also had certain ideas about the meanings of colors and line direction. Seurat used these angle sizes, as well as “rising” lines and the Golden Section (a mathematical proportion which was perceived by the Greeks to be aesthetically pleasing) in this painting. The movement employs rising lines and a chord derived from Henry’s numeric teachings. In addition, the tonal centers move around the “circle of fifths,” and the work is structured around the Golden Section. Although formulaic methods were applied in writing the work, Le Cirque is strongly rooted in tonality and attempts to evoke some of the sounds and emotions of the circus. PERFORMANCE NOTE: There is a cymbal crash in m. 192 of “Le Cirque;” the first violinist should obtain a brief lesson from a percussionist on how to play the cymbals. It is preferred that the cymbals be hidden from view so as to add an element of surprise. In addition, an optional, simultaneous cymbal crash may occur in the audience for optimum effect; the sound should be cut off by m. 198.

Profile for Carl Schimmel, composer

String Quartet #1 ("Ars Mathematica"), by Carl Schimmel  

(visit http://www.carlschimmel.com to purchase score and parts) I. DEMPSEY AND FIRPO II. FLAGELLAZIONE DI CRISTO III. MELENCOLIA I IV. LE C...

String Quartet #1 ("Ars Mathematica"), by Carl Schimmel  

(visit http://www.carlschimmel.com to purchase score and parts) I. DEMPSEY AND FIRPO II. FLAGELLAZIONE DI CRISTO III. MELENCOLIA I IV. LE C...

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