Divertimento Brillante for Piano, String Quartet & Bass
The Divertimento Brillante dates 1832 during a period during which Glinka was residing in Milan and preoccupied with the idea writing an opera. Taking in an opera at La Scala as often as he could, Glinka came under the thrall of several Italian composers, in particular Bellini and Donizetti. In his memoirs, Glinka wrote that he had intended the piano part for a Miss Pollini, one of his students who apparently was a superb pianist, judging from the technical demands found in the piano part. The melodic material comes from the opera La Sonnambula by his friend Vincezo Bellini. The work is in one long movement and has an introduction followed by four contrasting sections. The most impressive is the brilliant finale from which the work, no doubt, takes its name.
Mikhail Glinka (1804-57) is commonly regarded as the founder of Russian nationalism in music. His influence on composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin and Mussorgsky was considerable. As a child, he had some lessons from the famous Irish virtuoso pianist John Field who was living in Petersburg, but his association with music remained purely amateur, until visits to Europe which began in 1830. In both Italy and Germany, he was able to formally study and improve his compositional technique. His music offered a synthesis of Western operatic form with Russian melody, while his instrumental music was a combination of the traditional and the exotic.
The Divertimento Brillante calls for the same combination as some other works we offer which you may wish to obtain (click on links) so you can make a night of it. These include Glinka's Grand Sextet, William Sterndale Bennett's Piano Sextet, Sergei Lyapunov's Piano Sextet, Paul Juon's Piano Sextet, George Onslow's Piano Sextet, Felix Weingartner's Piano Sextet. and Henri Bertini's Piano Sextet No.3