List of Works || Divertimento No. 3

Divertimento No. 3 (1960)

1. Moderate Swing
2. Slow Swing
3. Fast Swing

Solo Bassoon, String orchestra, Violin (s), Viola (s), Cello (s), Bass (es)

Duration: 17 minutes, 30 seconds

First Performance: 5 May 1961, Toronto; Nicholas Kilburn, CBC Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Waddington

To celebrate its Golden Jubilee year, the University of Saskatchewan commissioned Weinzweig to compose a short work for bassoon and string orchestra. Following this 1959 premiere, Weinzweig composed two additional movements to surround the original slow piece, resulting in Divertimento No. 3. The work is considered a significant contribution to the bassoon repertoire and is among Weinzweig’s most widely performed works. Canadian bassoonist George Zukerman praised Weinzweig for “setting the monster loose!”

As with many works of this period, Weinzweig combines serialist techniques with a swing sensibility. While Weinzweig applies more rigorous serialist procedures than in the earlier Divertimenti, he infuses the tone rows with minor seconds and thirds to create deep pitch connections to jazz. He then reinforces the jazz influence with swing phrasing and rhythm.

Written by Alexa Woloshyn