So, I once looked up divertimento and what it means and I was told that it can have anywhere from 2 to 10 movements. The fact that it mentioned movements made me think:
Okay, so it is a sonata without a defined form, right?
So here is the typical form of a sonata:
- Sonata form
- Ternary form or Sonata form
- Optional but if present, a minuet or a scherzo
- Rondo form, Sonata form, or Sonata Rondo form.
Forms that aren't usually in a sonata but can be in place of the typical second or third movement forms include fugue and Theme and Variations. Sometimes a fugue is added to the end of a Rondo movement as well for a dramatic ending.
However, the more I listen to divertimenti, the more I can hear form in it. For instance, this divertimento in D by Mozart has this form in it:
- Sonata form, but with some odd harmony in the exposition(second theme isn't in the dominant)
- Binary form, like a minuet, but slower than your typical minuet
- Kleine Rondo(ABA form, but clearly not ternary form, must be a little rondo)
Basically your typical sonata - the typical slow movement form
And as another example, here is a later divertimento by Mozart, for a trio instead of a quartet:
and here is its form:
- Sonata form, no odd harmonies in the exposition
- Ternary form, typical for a slow movement
- Minuet and trio, typical for a third movement
- Theme and Variations?, a second slow movement
- Minuet and trio, a second third movement, though the 1 measure pause for all instruments is a bit odd for Mozart. Also there is a second trio, which is unusual, even for Beethoven but especially for Mozart. Even further diversion from the typical form takes place because there is a coda at the end.
- Sonata Rondo form, a typical form for a final movement
It seems to me, that a divertimento is your typical sonata +/- 1 or more movements, not so much a sonata without a defined form.
So is a divertimento a freeform sonata or is is a typical sonata with movements added to or subtracted from it?