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.
Diversions: 1. Prologue