Divertimento for Band (Persichetti)
1. Prologue (1:30)
2. Song (2:00)
3. Dance (1:00)
4. Burlesque (2:00)
5. Soliloquy (2:15)
6. March (3:00)
Oboe I-II (II doubles English Horn)
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Cornet I-II-III
Bb Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III, including:
- Bass Drum
- Cymbal (suspended)
- Snare Drum
- Wood Block
None discovered thus far.
Divertimento was premiered by The Goldman Band on June 16, 1950 with the composer conducting. The composition was started during the summer of 1949 in El Dorado, Kansas. In stories related to various sources, Persichetti began writing the work with a clash between choirs of woodwinds and brass, with a timpani "arguing" with them. After looking at this, he realized that the strings were not going to become a part of this piece. In an article from 1981 Persichetti stated:
I soon realized the strings weren't going to enter, and my Divertimento began to take shape. Many people call this ensemble Band. I know that composers are often frightened away by the sound of the word "band", because of certain qualities long associated with this medium - rusty trumpets, consumptive flutes, wheezy oboes, disintegrating clarinets, fumbling yet amiable baton wavers, and gum-coated park benches! If you couple these conditions with transfigurations and disfigurations of works originally conceived for orchestra, you create a sound experience that's as nearly excruciating as a sick string quartet playing a dilettante's arrangement of a nineteenth-century piano sonata. When composers think of the band as a huge, supple ensemble of winds and percussion, the obnoxious fat with drain off, and creative ideas will flourish.
It is because of the scoring of this work and the attitude the composer showed in the creation of the work which Fennell felt was new for the "band" medium.
- Florida: VI
- New York: VI
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- California Poly San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra (Christopher J. Woodruff, conductor) - 2 March 2012
- Knightwind Ensemble [Milwaukee, Wisc.] (Erik Janners, conductor) - 20 November 2011
- San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) - 19 March 2011
- West Liberty University Wind Ensemble (Matthew Inkster, conductor) - 29 April 2008
- High School Concert Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 12 August 1983
Works for Winds by this Composer
- A Lincoln Address (1973)
- Bagatelles for Band (1961)
- Celebrations (1966)
- Chorale Prelude: O God Unseen (1984)
- Chorale Prelude: So Pure the Star (1963)
- Chorale Prelude: Turn not Thy Face (1967)
- Divertimento for Band
- Masquerade for Band (1965)
- O Cool is the Valley (1971)
- Pageant (1953)
- Parable IX (1972)
- Psalm for Band (1953)
- Serenade for Band (1960)
- Symphony No. 6 (1956)
- Belser, R.S. (1994). Original works for concert band premiered or commissioned by Edwin Franko Goldman, Richard Frank Goldman, and The Goldman Band 1919-1979 (doctoral dissertation). University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.
- Fennell, Frederick. “Vincent Persichetti: Divertimento for Band.” BDGuide 1 (September-October 1984): 12–21. Reprinted in A Conductor’s Interpretive Analysis of Masterworks for Band. Galesville, Md.: Meredith Music Publications, 2008. pp. 6–15.
- Morris, D.A. (1991). The life of Vincent Persichetti, with emphasis on his works for band (doctoral dissertation). Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
- Persichetti, V. and Shackelford, R. (1981). Conversation with Vincent Persichetti. Perspectives of New Music 20 (1), 104-133.
- Fraschillo, Thomas. (1994). Conducting Persichetti's Divertimento: An Interpretive Analysis. The Instrumentalist 48, 16-20.