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Nueve sinfonías : for symphony orchestra

by Andrián Pertout (2010)

Work Overview

Nueve sinfonías or 'Nine Symphonies' was especially composed for the Vox Novus 60x60 Project (New York, NY, USA) and serves as an exploration of the musical properties of the number nine within a contemporary interpretation of the principal themes of each of Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies, and hence the enactment of 'nine symphonies in sixty seconds.' The work includes thirty-six quotations (the principal theme of each movement, or 4×9=36) melodically transformed via pitch material derived from pitch class set 9-4 (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9; or C, C#, D, D#, E, F, G, G# and A). In order to then generate even further interest, each symphony is sequentially allocated with one of the nine modes of pitch class set 9-4 - the encoding process taking account of a scalar structure inclusive of auxiliary pitches. At the core of the structural scheme is Cecil Balmond's 'Mandala' magic circle, which in Number 9: The Search for the Sigma Code describes as the "blueprint of secret arithmetic," noting that "like the nine planets whirling round the sun, nine orbits circle the centre." In the work, each ring and rotating arm of the magic circle is utilized systematically to generate rhythmic material, with each numerical entity allocated the accumulated value of sixteenth note triplets (set around a 9/8 meter), and then reversed (anticlockwise, outwards) - each resultant pattern assigned to a particular movement of one of Beethoven's nine symphonies (the first symphony equal to: 999999999×2, 987654321×2, 999999999×2 and 123456789×2). Rhythmic displacement is then utilized in order for each of the three canonic sequences in the work to have common convergence points (canonic resolutions).

Work Details

Year: 2010

Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in F, 2 trumpets in B flat, 2 tenor trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, harp, strings.

Duration: 1 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Composed for the Vox Novus 60x60 Project (New York, NY, USA)

The composer cites the following influences on this work :

Ludwig van Beethoven's Nine Symphonies, Cecil Balmond’s ‘Mandala’ magic circle

Performances of this work

9 Jul 14: Australasian Computer Music Conference, Federation Hall, Victorian College of the Arts, Southbank, Melbourne

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