Divertissement Concertante (2013)

Duration: approx. 7 min

Performed by the Ohio Wesleyan University Chamber Orchestra
Dr. Michael J. Malone, conducting

Program Note:
Divertissement Concertante was composed specifically for the Ohio Wesleyan University Chamber Orchestra and Dr. Michael Malone. In the context of operatic works, a divertissement is often an segment of ballet inserted in an opera, either as a break in the action or as a means to drive the plot. Outside of dramatic works, the divertissement denotes music intended for entertainment, often at parties. This work captures both the qualities of dance and light entertainment from both divertissement types. The piece also features solo lines that emerge from the texture in several instruments (concertante), such as the piccolo, the English horn, the principal strings, the clarinet, and the trumpet. The first movement (Prélude) begins in a mysterious, otherworldly haze. As the haze clears, a pensive, rhythmic ostinato emerges and serves as the scaffolding for movement’s material. After the music swells to climax, the texture quickly pulls back, only to resolve on the downbeat of the next movement. Light, rhythmic, and dance-like, the second movement (Ritournelle) features the alternation of the opening thematic material with contrasting but related material. The ritornello theme is heard a total of five times, sometimes shortened, expanded, or even reordered. The four intervening episodes take the music to different moods or keys, until the last return, where the theme is layered against itself, propelling into the final cadence.

2 Flutes (2nd doubles Picc.)
2 Oboes (2nd doubles E.H.)
2 B-flat Clarinets
2 Bassoons
2 F Horns
2 C Trumpets
Percussion (1 player): Tam-Tam, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal, Woodblock, Chimes, Triangle