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Emile Bernard: "Divertissement"

October 31, 2016

 

Divertissement, Op. 36

   I. Andante sostenuto; Allegro molto moderato

   II. Allegro vivace

   III. Andante
Jean Émile Auguste Bernard

Born: November 28, 1843, Marseilles, France

Died: September 11, 1902, Paris, France

Instrumentation: Wind Dectet

Composed: 1894

Duration: 21 minutes

 

University of Maryland Wind Orchestra

"Circus Maximus"

Sunday, December 4, 2016, 4:00 pm

Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Concert Hall

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

The University of Maryland at College Park

 

The French term divertissement (divertimento in Italian) was frequently used in the 18th and 19th century to identify an instrumental composition written in a light vein and used primarily for entertainment. The title was often given to an enormous variety of music written for chamber ensembles consisting of three to eight or more players. Closely related types are the serenade, cassation, and nocturne. Over the years the divertimento has evolved into many different styles and forms. Emile Bernard's Divertissement, for example, is an outstanding three-movement wind symphony in a late Romantic style.

 

Bernard, a French organist and composer, studied at the Paris Conservatory and later in his career was organist of the church of Notre-Dame des Champs in Paris from 1887 to 1895. Bernard was not a prolific composer. However, his serious and reflective disposition is shown in almost all of his works, including the Divertissement. Composed around 1894 for wind dectet and first performed by the Parisian Société des Instruments à Vent, the Divertissement was played at least three times by the Longy Club of Boston between 1900 and 1905. A critic for the Boston Transcript wrote of the Club's 1904 performance: "[The work is] so well written that the lack of strings does not make itself so clearly felt as usual."

 - Program Note by Robert J. Garofalo

 

Jean Émile Auguste Bernard, Divertissement, Op. 36, I. Andante - Allegro

Holland Wind Players, Jeroen Weierink, conductor

 

Jean Émile Auguste Bernard, Divertissement, Op. 36, II. Allegro vivace

Holland Wind Players, Jeroen Weierink, conductor

 

Jean Émile Auguste Bernard, Divertissement, Op. 36, III. Andante

Holland Wind Players, Jeroen Weierink, conductor

 

Additional Resources:

 - Bernard Divertissement Full Score (IMSLP)

 - Bernard bio (Wikipedia)

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