ÉMILE BERNARD (1843-1902): Divertissement for Winds, Op. 36, MICHAEL IPPOLITO (b.1985): Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra, JACQUES IBERT (1892-1962): Divertissement for Chamber Orchestra, BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945): Divertimento for String Orchestra, Sz. 113.
Catalogue Number: 06W033
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: Bernard’s 21-minute piece from 1893 marries a carefree French melodiousness with German Romanticism. Ippolito's attractive, tonal, four-movement piece was written especially for this project, exploring the ambiguous genre of the Divertimento, used by many composers to suggest a multifaceted work, free in form and also free to juxtapose serious ideas with lighthearted playfulness, tragedy and comedy in the same brief span, like the comedy-dramas of the Commedia dell'arte characters or traditional puppet shows. Glibly, one might suggest that if you like the Bartók and the Ibert, you will certainly enjoy this. The first movement is propulsive and lively; the second, contradictorily titled "Aria burlesca", is a dialogue between mannered gentility and uncouth clumsiness (if you’re familiar with Mervyn Peake's Irma Prunesquallor and Bellgrove it will remind you of their romance). The third is a rather rustic minuet and trio, and the finale begins with a thoughtful choral with a liturgical air, contrasted with the exuberantly energetic central gigue, full of fugal writing and punchy forthrightness; the two are combined in the final section. c/o Chamber Orchestra.