The Aurora Trio are performing Robert Peate’s Three Diversions (written for the Aurora Trio) at Chichester Cathedral on Tuesday 28 September at 1:10pm.
The movements of Three Diversions (or Divertimenti) share a certain dance-like quality, and with the exception of the short central Elegy, are generally light in character. Each movement is very much self-contained, with only the slightest of thematic links between each miniature. As the title suggests they are intended mainly as entertainment, and at the time acted as a kind of diversion for me between writing other larger, more ‘serious’ works.
The first movement (subtitled ‘Rounds’) was written out of the somewhat bizarre combination of a ‘whistle signal’ used when cycling through canal tow-path tunnels, and an interest in medieval dance music. This motor-rhythms in this movement also served as something of a study for the first and last moments of a Piano Concerto.
The second movement, ‘Elegy’ was a more abstract exercise in chord rotations, through which I drew subtle, plaintive lines from out of the harmony, whilst also trying to create an morphing sense of colour.
The third ‘Tango’ is in a somewhat nuevo-tango style, formed in the manner of a jazz standard: After a brief introduction the ‘head’ is played, then each instrument comes to the fore for their ‘solo’ variation, before a reprise of the ‘head’ and then a coda. The dancing harpist dedicatee alluded to in the programme note is Alexandra Guiraud, and the first two notes of the ‘tune’ spell out her initials (A-G, A-G).Robert Peate
Indeed, we suspect this may be the first time a tango is played at Chichester Cathedral… if anyone has any further information to confirm or not this potential first tango-experience there, please let us know! 😊