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Bartók, Béla: Divertimento op. BB118 (1939) 26'
for string orchestra

Territory

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

11/06/1940
Basle
Basle Chamber Orchestra / Paul Sacher

Repertoire Note

Bartók’s last commission for Paul Sacher, written in the Swiss Alps on the verge of war, is less intense or complex than the preceding works. Its outer movements bustle with a sunny optimism, not shared by the twists and turns of his brooding middle movement. Divertimento programmes well with, or stands in for, other Hungarian works for string orchestra by Weiner (for instance, his 1938 Divertimento, op.24) or Dohnányi, or, for a lighter touch, with Bartók’s own Romanian Folk Dances.

Note by Malcolm Gillies

Recommended Recording

Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Iona Brown
Chandos 9816

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