I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold

From Wind Repertory Project
James M. David

James M David

General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 9:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $175.00   |   Score Only (print) - $50.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (or Contrabass Clarinet)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drums (2: small and concert)
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • China Cymbals
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbals (3: small, medium and large)
  • Tambourine (mounted)
  • Tam-Tam (medium)
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle (large)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

My newest work for wind symphony is based on the iconic painting "I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold" by Charles Demuth. Considered to be a seminal work of modern art that led towards cubism, the painting has an incredibly bold and striking design that draws the viewer inwards. The painting itself is similarly inspired by a work from a different medium: William Carlos Williams' poem The Great Figure which describes a fire engine hurtling down a busy city street.

In my work, I have tried to use abstract techniques to create a bold work in the vein of the original painting. The number five is expressed in many different ways including the prevalence of perfect fifths, rhythmic techniques based on the number five, and an adaptation of Bartok's five-part arch form. The work uses literal text painting by emphasizing brass, saxophone, and bell timbres throughout. While largely lyrical in nature, the movement builds to an energetic allegro concluding with a massive choral finale.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

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