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From Ecstasy to Infinity

Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy explores the role of science and mathematics in the arts of the baroque. From Bernini's architecture and sculpture in Rome, the playful gardens at Versailles, to the grand dome of St Paul's Cathedral and the music of Monteverdi and Bach, he discovers that new ideas about perspective, capturing movement and the infinite all play a part in the baroque vision.

'The Baroque was always a style I'd associated with vulgarity and excess. But in this programme I’ve discovered how much control and structure underpins the spectacle of the baroque. The dramatic and sensational effects of the greatest baroque architects like Borromini and Bernini are founded on sound mathematical principles. Painters like Caravaggio and Rubens are battling with the same problems as Newton and Leibniz in their attempt to capture bodies in motion. And the extravagant sounds of Monteverdi and Bach would not be possible without the mathematical development of new ideas of temperament. It is my world of mathematics and science which allows the artist and musician to play with your emotions. Join me on my journey to the conversion of the delights of the baroque.' Marcus Du Sautoy

Release date:

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 4 Sep 2009 21:30

World Music collector, Sir David Attenborough

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The field recordings Attenborough of music performances around the world.