Author Topic: The Diamond Mine  (Read 25774 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #40 on: July 06, 2009, 06:00:14 AM »
Forget all this Stravinsky . . . .

Ach! Never!  :D

Together with Copland, Diamond is my favourite American composer - especially symphonies 2,3 and 4, all of which are marvellous works. I feel that he should be much better known. These works are well crafted, eloquent and often moving (as in slow movement of Symphony No 3).

Duly noted, thanks.

Elnimio

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2012, 06:36:16 AM »
The dissonant language found in his symphonies 7 and 8 is quite shocking, especially compared to his earlier stuff, but damn, it makes for some thrilling, darker music.

A master of lean contrapuntal writing, this guy was. Truly talented and multifaceted composer.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 06:37:50 AM by Elnimio »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2012, 12:52:37 PM »
The dissonant language found in his symphonies 7 and 8 is quite shocking, especially compared to his earlier stuff, but damn, it makes for some thrilling, darker music.

A master of lean contrapuntal writing, this guy was. Truly talented and multifaceted composer.

It seems that these American composers Schuman, Mennin, Diamond, who knows who else progressed into a dark and gritty style for their symphonies towards the end of their lives.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 02:15:33 PM by Mirror Image »
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2012, 02:22:04 PM »
I'm glad we have a Diamond thread.

My introduction to him was on the Australian Classic FM, a truly dreadful music radio station dedicated to everything mediocre and substandard in classical music (in correspondence with me they told me that the music of Robert Simpson would have 'no appeal' to their listeners and they would never play it). However, on this one occasion they served up a treat: I was waiting for someone at a train station late at night, their train was late and went out to the car and flicked on the radio and they were playing the last movement of the SQ 3, couldn't believe it, just such wonderful, eloquent, sad but noble music. I think Classic FM were having an aberration at the time.

Marvelous composer, one of the great things about him is that he is very consistent, so, although his music gets darker and more dissonant over time, it's always recognisably Diamond straightaway. I love the symphonies (I know 3, 4, 5 and 10) and it's a crying shame we don't have a complete cycle. We do have the complete string quartets from Albany and I've got the first two volumes so far (2, 3, 8, 9, 10 and the Concerto for SQ), love them.

Just a couple of questions:

1. I know that DD was gay, and yet all the information about the String Quartet No.3 was that the slow movement was written in memory of a woman that DD lived with in Paris who suicided. What's the story, was she just a friend? Or was he bisexual? I don't care what his sexuality was, just want to know the story.
2. I downloaded the radio broadcast of the premier of the Symphony 10 from 1988 from Unsung Composers downloads, (love the way the organ becomes more and more prominent in the scherzo and the through the finale). Anyway, some other information tells me DD revised the symphony in 2000, does anyone know if these changes were major?

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2012, 06:14:55 PM »
Since enthusing before I have been listening to more Diamond.

I particularly liked the tone poem 'The Enormous Room', it's absolutely lovely and has an inevitable structure, although I don't what it has to do with e e cummings memoir.

Anyway, one thing that struck me was how in this work, and in other early works, Diamond's melodies and harmonies are sometimes very reminiscent of Gerald Finizi's. I know both composers liked modal melodies and harmonies, and both had a Jewish upbringing (though I don't know how that explains the resemblance). Anyway just a thought.

For another thought on Finzi/Diamond, see the Finzi thread.

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #45 on: November 29, 2012, 09:43:15 PM »
Together with Copland, Diamond is my favourite American composer - especially symphonies 2,3 and 4, all of which are marvellous works. I feel that he should be much better known. These works are well crafted, eloquent and often moving (as in slow movement of Symphony No 3).

Completely agree. He wrote superb music. Those slow movements are really something special. Heartbreaking and there seems to be an underlying feeling of sadness within these movements.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2012, 07:50:53 AM »
I particularly liked the tone poem 'The Enormous Room', it's absolutely lovely and has an inevitable structure, although I don't what it has to do with e e cummings memoir.

Yes, this is a great work. From the reissued Naxos recording, I wasn't fond of his Violin Concerto No. 2 at all. I thought the violin writing was a bit lifeless. This first symphony and this work The Enormous Room were what made that recording.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2012, 02:15:11 PM »
I've never understood why Diamond didn't become the National Composer.* it would be difficult to think of a C20 composer who combined such accessibility with genuine musical worth.

Take the Symphony No.2, it's a perfect wartime symphony, and if I'd been a concert goer in 1944 I'd have been tearing up and waving the stars and stripes (metaphorically), but it stands on its own feet and can be listened to as a purely abstract symphony.

It's unbelievable to me that we don't have recordings of all his symphonies, I particularly regret not having recordings of the symphonies 9-11 (I have a radio recording of the 10th, which indicates in his later symphonies he went back to a plainer style compared to his middle symphonies (as represented by 5 & 8, we don't have recordings of 6 & 7). What is intriguing is that 10 is longer than any of his other symphonies (c 50 mins). On the the principle of "you can never have enough of a good thing", I hope that when 9 and 11 are recorded they also prove to be of similar length.  :D

Thank heavens for the Potomac Quartet's complete cycle.

* Oh, wait, I get it, homophobia.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #48 on: December 08, 2012, 05:25:26 PM »
I have a radio recording of No.9 (and Nos. 6 and 7) if you are interested :)

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #49 on: December 08, 2012, 05:37:26 PM »
He is another 20th C. composer who devoted much of his energy in the string quartet form.  There are 4 volumes performed by the Potomac Quartet and generally very good. 








Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2012, 05:39:19 PM »
* Oh, and anti-Jewish sentiment.

Isn't it good that now we're at the stage where (theoretically at least) a person's sexuality and/or heritage has nothing to do with how well they get on.

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2012, 07:39:34 PM »

* Oh, wait, I get it, homophobia.

Obviously this has nothing to do with it. Copland was homosexual, and Jewish, and recognized as one of the greatest American composers. I don't know why Diamond isn't performed more. I'd love a conductor like Alan Gilbert or Andrew Litton to release a complete symphony cycle. Wouldn't that be something? It's a shame Schwarz didn't do a complete cycle. I never understood why he didn't? I mean he had support from Delos.
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2012, 01:32:45 PM »
Obviously this has nothing to do with it. Copland was homosexual, and Jewish, and recognized as one of the greatest American composers. I don't know why Diamond isn't performed more. I'd love a conductor like Alan Gilbert or Andrew Litton to release a complete symphony cycle. Wouldn't that be something? It's a shame Schwarz didn't do a complete cycle. I never understood why he didn't? I mean he had support from Delos.

Why don't you ask him ???

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2012, 01:41:27 PM »
"Obviously this has nothing to do with it. Copland was homosexual, and Jewish, and recognized as one of the greatest American composers."

Well, I'd have thought that being homosexual and Jewish would have been a considerable handicap to acceptance in the 1950s (didn't Diamond have to live in Italy in the 50s? although this may have been more to do with his politics). Later, overt prejudice would have given way to hidden prejudice. But remember, people don't make their way in the world subject only to the judgements of the enlightened and wise, even composers have to go through life subject to the judgements of the prejudiced, petty and unwise.

Just been watching "Mad Men" on DVD and this show, said to be an accurate portrayal of its time (1960s), shows plenty of overt prejudice against gay men and people of Jewish background. (Story would have been the same, and maybe worse, in Britain or Australia at the same time, or course). Served as a reminder of how bad things were then.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2012, 04:42:35 PM »
Useful webpage with analysis of the first 8 symphonies

https://www.webdepot.umontreal.ca/Usagers/belkina/MonDepotPublic/Diamond/DD.html

Offline Johnll

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2012, 07:19:02 PM »
Clyptorhynchus my understanding is that Diamond had a bit of ego and outed  himself as a young man. All of us that want to live in the real world have to pretend to like doing things we do not want to. I do not want to wear ties and I do not want to talk about football even though the boss loves it. You may have to go along sometimes to get along- it is your choice and Diamond made a different choice than Copeland and Bernstein who were successful.
While you are crying in your beer about all this homo and Jew hate stuff allow me to ask you a question.  If I could find a Muslim Palestinian (not skirt wearing) composer of note what do you think his reception would be in Israel, America, or Australia? I believe we all know the answer but I most certainly want your response!

Offline San Antone

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2012, 07:23:09 PM »
It is unfortunate that this thread is not being devoted to a discussion of David Diamond's music. 

Offline lescamil

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2012, 07:30:28 PM »
Useful webpage with analysis of the first 8 symphonies

https://www.webdepot.umontreal.ca/Usagers/belkina/MonDepotPublic/Diamond/DD.html

Huh, Alan Belkin is a friend of mine's composition teacher. This is incredibly useful to someone like me, who is still trying to figure out their opinion on Diamond's music. I still place his colleagues ahead of him at the moment, namely Schuman and Persichetti.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #58 on: December 09, 2012, 07:41:21 PM »
Why don't you ask him ???

I prefer not to be laughed at. ;) :D
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #59 on: December 15, 2012, 12:12:46 AM »
Can't stop listening to Symphony No 3 - should be up there with those of Copland, Harris, Hanson and Schuman. It used to be the slow movement which I found so moving (still moves me greatly), but now it is the slow, deeply touching, last movement which I can't get over. In fact the whole work is wonderful. The original Delos CD is better than the Naxos reissue as it includes Diamond's fine music for 'Romeo and Juliet'. Wish we had a complete cycle of the symphonies.
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