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Diversions for quintet was written in 2003. The idea of a work for winds and strings grew out of two influences: the composer's involvement in a group that had been playing the Prokofiev Quintet in G minor (Op.39) for Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Double Bass, and his involvement in a performance of Copland's Appalachian Spring for the original version of nine strings, three winds and 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.....
Diversions was first performed by the musicians of Orchestre 2021 on Thursday 30th October 2008, 20h30 in the Grand Salon of the Fondation des Etats-Unis, 15 boulevard Jourdan, Paris. The players were: Herbert Lashner - oboe, Erika Bliznik - clarinet, Aude de Larouzière - violin, Nigel Keay - viola, & Guillaume Pagnon - double bass.