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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also, divertimento).

In the theater during the 17th and 18th centuries, a divertissement was an inserted or concluding part of a dramatic production (sometimes of an opera or ballet), consisting of singing, dancing, brief comic scenes, parodies, and other numbers amusing in nature. A divertissement usually is unrelated to the plot of the main presentation. During the 1870’s the divertissement became an independent part of the concert program of vaudeville theaters and balagan (traveling) shows. Use of the divertissement in Russian ballet became widespread after the Fatherland War of 1812, when it was transformed into a unique type of ballet presentation with patriotic and nationalistic subject matter.

In music the divertissement is a type of light popular music. The term designates an instrumental work which serves primarily as an amusing diversion. Divertissements consist of several sections (usually from four to ten) and are arranged for various instrumental groups (ranging from one instrument to a chamber ensemble or an orchestra). They combine elements of the suite and the sonata and resemble a serenade because of their extensive use of dance genres. They are also related to the cassation and the nocturne. Examples of divertissements can be found in the works of Haydn and Mozart.

During the 19th century, divertissements were converted into a genre of salon music similar to a medley. There are a few exceptions, for example, Hungarian Divertissement by Schubert, written for two pianos. During the 20th century the divertissement has taken the form of a suite consisting of short ballets (for example, the divertissement from Stravinsky’s ballet Le Baiser de la fee). Occasionally works are composed that are stylizations of the 18th-century divertissement (Bartók’s Divertimento for Strings).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chapter 1 explains her analytical approach and the interpretive advantages that emerge when we understand how the divertissements participate--in both subtle and obvious ways--in the dramatic significance of the whole.
With a CD as interesting as the "first complete recording" of Divertissement pour trois cors de bassett by Jiri Druzecky (1745-1819) the listener naturally reaches first for the booklet.
Show business newspaper Daily Variety called 'Vicky Cristina' "a sexy, funny divertissement that passes as enjoyably as an idle sunny afternoon in the titular Spanish city" and added the film "is by several degrees more hot-blooded than his (Allen's) usual norm." Allen said he definitely wanted to make the movie funny, but he also saw it as a somewhat tragic tale of people who can't fall in love, others who fall perhaps too deeply for each other, and those who marry for all the wrong reasons.
No fault of Voigt's that the dance emerged no sillier than it always does; the composer's greatest dramatic mistake was to burden his soprano with what is, in effect, a balletic divertissement. No matter--the power and accuracy of this soprano's voice were stunning.
Since then, the perception of the court dramas as mere royal divertissement and insubstantial extravaganza has been gradually corrected by the studies of Sebastian Neumeister, Mythos und Reprasentation (1978), Robert terHorst, Calderon: The Secular Plays (1982), and Thomas A.
Retape a neuf avec une securite renforcee, cet espace de divertissement offre beaucoup de jeux et de maneges aux enfants.
Hachimi Idrissi a affirme que cette colonie de vacances, qui en est a sa premiere edition, s'assigne pour objectif de contribuer a l'epanouissement de ces enfants et a l'eclosion de leurs talents, en leur offrant l'opportunite d'exprimer leurs aspirations, avec a l'appui un savant dosage entre l'utile et l'agreable, l'education et le divertissement.
La region des chutes d'eau figure parmi les regions favorables aux divers jeux maritimes, a l'equitation, et aux activites touristiques et de divertissement.
Jean Rigby will sing the aria Softly Awakes My Heart from Saint-Saens' opera Samson and Delilah while Mr Dunk will direct members of the reunion in a performance of Ibert's Divertissement.