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André Previn

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Diversions (1999)
G Schirmer Inc
Sub Category
Chamber Orchestra
Year Composed
20 Minutes
Programme Note
André Previn Diversions (1999)
Andre Previn’s four movement orchestral showpiece, Diversions, was composed in 1999 in response to a commission by the Vienna Philharmonic specifying that the work, “not be for an outsized orchestra, and that it not be too intensely profound.” The resultant piece is, in effect, a concerto for orchestra which highlights various principal players and relies on distinct compartmentalization of sections. The title is appropriate when one considers the dual nature in the piece which is both light and substantial, tuneful yet atmospheric. The central Passacaglia pays homage to Brahms, Shostakovich and Britten, composers who loved the form.

  • Soloist(s)
    Renee Fleming, Barbara Bonney and Andre Previn
    André Previn
    Deutsche Grammophon:
André Previn's DIVERSIONS [is] a full-scale concerto for orchestra with solos galore for almost every major orchestral grouping. It's full of outstanding orchestration, exciting rhythmic shifts and even tonal tenderness. This is due in part to the striking contrast of old and new in the work. Previn can let the violins weep a romantic melody just as he can have them vigorously screech out a grasshopper-like modern figure. Through it all, the composer never loses his distinct voice. However, maybe even of more importance is the music's accessibility. Something new is always popping up among the orchestra as solos jump from one region to another, rhythms shift organically and themes emerge among the component parts. DIVERSIONS, far from being a series of simple musical lollipops, may well be the most brilliant composition written in a decade. Though the piece premiered in January, it practically screams out to be part of the standard repertoire. Will someone please call a record company to capture this magnificent masterwork?
Steven Singer, Pittsburgh Daily News,01/01/0001
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