Divertimento for Brass and Percussion

From Wind Repertory Project
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


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


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

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


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


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Kennesaw (Ga. ) State University Wind Symphony (Daniel Lee, conductor) - 26 April 2023
  • California State University, Fresno (Fresno) Brass and Percussion Ensemble (Steve McKeithen, conductor) - 30 November 2021
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Symphony Band Chamber Players (David Thornton, conductor) - 28 April 2021
  • Bowling Green (Ohio) State University Wind Symphony (Bruce Moss, conductor) - 16 April 2021
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble (John Climer, conductor) - 8 April 2021
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Orchestra (Brett Penshorn, conductor) - 1 April 2021
  • University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) Chamber Winds (Wesley J. Broadnax, conductor) - 25 March 2021
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Chamber Winds (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) - 17 March 2021
  • Ohio University (Athens) University Wind Ensemble (William Talley, conductor) - 10 March 2021
  • Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Morehouse, conductor) - 4 March 2021
  • 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 (Greenville) 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
  • University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Orchestra (Michael Votta, Jr., conductor) – 3 March 2012 (CBDNA 2012 Eastern Division Conference, College Park, Md.)

Works for Winds by This Composer