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Nigel Keay - Diversions for Chamber Orchestra (2003)

Diversions for Chamber Orchestra, instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in A, Bassoon, Horn in F, & Strings.

In three movements, duration: ca. 16 minutes  1. Allegro (5'26")   2. Lento (7'00")   3. Lento-Andante (3'30")

Diversions, for Wind & String Quintet (Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola & Double Bass) (original version)

Orchestral parts for diversions for Chamber Orchestra: Divs CO Flute Part, Divs CO Oboe Part, Divs CO Clarinet Part, Divs CO Bassoon Part, Divs CO Horn Part, Divs CO Violin 1 Part, Divs CO Violin 2 Part, Divs CO Viola Part, Divs CO Cello Part, Divs CO Double Bass Part.

  Diversions - Programme Note

Diversions for chamber orchestra is an adaption, for chamber orchestra, of the original work for quintet composed in 2003.  The idea of a work for winds & strings grew out of two influences: the composer's involvement in a group that had been playing the Prokofiev Quintet for Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola & Double Bass, and his involvement in a performance of Copland's Appalachian Spring for the original version of 9 strings, 3 winds & piano.

The title "Diversions" was initially chosen using the word in the sense of "distraction", or, in other words, to be intended that the idea behind the work is essentially abstract without any attempted profound philosophical attachments, or images, in the Stravinskian sense that music is about nothing more than itself - something that I had been pondering at the time. But of course there is another sense to the word "diversion" which is "diverting from a specified course",  and here the question can be posed; what is the specified course for a composer? And if there is none, can there ever be a diversion? Each chooses one's own language.....

Before the work was completed, a part of Diversions was given a rehearsed reading by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Young at the NZSO - SOUNZ Readings in November 2003 in Wellington.

A report by Peter Mechen on this event was published in Issue 23 of Sounz News: "Nigel Keay's Diversions 1 & 2 for strings and wind presented a Janus-like face whose opposite aspects contrasted the wit and energy of one piece against a more serious and impassioned impulse throughout the other."

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