Divertimento for strings
In 1947, Panufnik found the score of Feliks Janiewicz’s trios for two violins and cello in the publisher PWM Edition's collection. Charmed by these classical pieces, he decided to arrange them for string orchestra, preserving the character and spirit of their period a century before. This led to the writing of the charming Divertimento, which is one of the first pieces by Panufnik drawing on early Polish music.
Divertimento was premiered in Kraków on 9 December 1947 and quickly became very popular. It consists of three movements: Allegro moderato, Andante and Allegro.It is worth noting that interest in early music, stemming on one hand from the popularity of the neoclassical movement in Poland, and on the other from a desire to bypass dictates of socialist realism, prompted Polish composers to write a number of works based on pieces composed in earlier centuries. In addition to Panufnik, such works include Roman Palester's Concertino for harpsichord and 10 instruments (1956) and Tadeusz Baird's suite Colas Breugnon (1952) and Songs of the Trouvères (1963).