The Anatomy of Legerdemain

for clarinet in Bb, violin, cello and piano

Ryan Latimer

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for clarinet in Bb, violin, cello and piano

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Composer Ryan Latimer
Year of Composition 2019
Duration ca.12'

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-rl1taol1


The Anatomy of Legerdemain, published in 1635, is one of the earliest comprehensive English language texts concerning the art of slight-of-hand and close-up magic. With the witty and purposefully patronising guidance of its anonymous narrator, the novice conjurer is introduced to a range of magical methods and effects—the mechanics of palming, pocketing and gimmicked props; the mystical use of chemistry; and the importance of repetition, anticipation and misdirection. In composing this work, I sought to explore the possible musical potential contained within some of these underpinning principles, and hoped to capture something of the text’s playfully beguiling tone, as well as the mystery surrounding its unknown creator.