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Divertimento for Brass and Percussion

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Karel Husa

Karel Husa


General Info

Year: 1957
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Associated Music Publishers
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


Movements

1. Overture - 1:35
2. Scherzo – 1:20
3. Song – 1:50
4. Slovak Dance – 4:15


Instrumentation

Full Score
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Tuba
Timpani
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Orchestra Bells (or Vibraphone)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Divertimento for Brass and Percussion (1958) is a tonal piece illustrating the Czech dance rhythms and melodies in a contemporary setting. It consists of four modest movements, calling for three trumpets, four horns, three trombones, tuba, and two percussion. Husa composed Divertimento early in his tenure at Cornell. The Divertimento is a re-orchestrated, four-movement excerpt of his Eight Czech Duets for four-hand piano. Husa dedicated the duets to his young daughters, wanting to share with them his interpretation of their Czech heritage.

The work received its premiere in February 1960 by the Ithaca Brass Ensemble with Robert Prins conducting.

- Program Note from Illinois State University Symphonic Winds concert program, 23 March 2016


The Divertimento for Brass and Percussion was premiered on February 17, 1960, by the Ithaca Brass Ensemble. The following day, a review of the performance was written in the Ithaca Journal: "The Divertimento of Karel Husa received a first performance worthy of its musical qualities. Of all the works played at the concert, this Divertimento gave the most powerful impression that its unique medium is the brass ensemble."

Eight years later, Husa transcribed his work for brass quintet, and dedicated the new version to the Ithaca College Faculty Brass Quintet. His Bohemian legacy was expressed through song forms and modal melody present in the work. The first movement, Overture, is in AABA form, featuring a modal melody with polychordal accompaniment. The second movement, Scherzo, is in ABA form, with expressive polychords and ostinatos throughout the entire movement. The contrasting tranquil third movement, titled Der Abend (Evening), is based upon the humorous folksong, Oj dyby ne šafáře. The last movement, Slovak Dance, features a principal theme performed by the tuba, who introduces the Slovak dance tune Vrtena, followed by two variations. The movement increases gradually in tempo and complexity through to the end.

- Program Note from University of Texas Wind Symphony concert program, 22 February 2016


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • North Dakota State University (Fargo) Wind Symphony (Matthew Winarski, conductor) - 22 November 2020
  • Marshall University (Huntington, W. Va.) Symphonic Band (Christopher Schletter, conductor) - 19 November 2020
  • Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (David Holsinger, conductor) - 12 November 2020
  • Mississippi College (Clinton) Concert Winds (Craig Young, conductor) - 10 November 2020
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor) - 5 November 2020
  • South Carolina Governor's School of the Arts Wind Ensemble (David Hamilton, conductor) – 10 March 2020
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando), Symphonic Band Chamber Winds (Kirsten Hoogstraten, conductor) - 22 April 2019
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Symphony (Steven D. Davis, conductor) – 12 March 2019
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (JoAnn Wieszczyk, conductor) – 26 October 2018
  • Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Steven M. Knight, conductor) – 7 October 2018
  • Ithaca College Wind Ensemble (Ithaca, N.Y.) (Aaron Burgess, conductor) - 5 April 2018
  • Eastman Wind Orchestra (Rochester, N.Y.) (William Talley, conductor) – 2 April 2018
  • North Dakota State University (Fargo) Wind Symphony (Warren Olfert, conductor) - 3 December 2017
  • The Hartt Wind Ensemble (West Hartford, Conn.) (Thomas Duffy, conductor) - 20 October 2017
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (Pamornpan Komolpamorn, conductor) – 22 February 2017
  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Wind Ensemble (Chee Weng Yim, conductor) – 22 September 2016
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Martin H. Seggleke, conductor) – 23 March 2016
  • University of New Hampshire (Durham) Wind Symphony members (Sean Meagher, conductor) – 2015
  • Lynn Conservatory of Music (Boca Raton, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Amis, conductor) – 22 January 2009


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources