Author Topic: The Diamond Mine  (Read 36072 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #140 on: August 21, 2021, 05:13:42 AM »
The SQs and Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 are my go-to Diamond works, but I also loved a good bit else that I’ve heard from him like Rounds for example.
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Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #141 on: August 21, 2021, 05:20:12 PM »
Reading through the latest entries in this thread I was interested in the person who said they heard Rounds on ABC Classic FM. I assume this is the poor excuse for a classical music channel we have in Australia which dedicates itself to forgettable contemporary pieces, schmalz, hackneyed “classics”, crossover music, single movements of multi-movement works &c.

However, as with our friend above, it did put me on to Diamond. About 15 years ago I had an engagement one evening and my wife had another one. I arranged to pick her up after mine had finished. I arrived outside the venue in the late evening and the event was obviously still going so I reluctantly turned the radio on to Classics FM hoping for some Mozart or something. What I tuned into was the beginning of the last movement of the Diamond String Quartet no.3. This is an 11 minute searing elegy for a friend of Diamond who suicided. My hair was standing on end, I had no idea of the composer, but I knew whoever they were they were amongst the greats of music. I heard the announcement at the end and then shortly afterwards my wife showed up but I could barely speak.

The next day, being a Saturday, went round to the one classical CD shop in Canberra (Abels in Manuka, which closed about 12 years ago) and bought up various Diamond disks. :)

Diamond's Rounds must be a staple of classical radio. I heard it on an NPR station while driving down the east coast, from Connecticut to Maryland, and was immediately struck by it. The next day I started looking for the CD, which was out of print, by then.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #142 on: August 21, 2021, 10:55:46 PM »
Diamond's Rounds must be a staple of classical radio. I heard it on an NPR station while driving down the east coast, from Connecticut to Maryland, and was immediately struck by it. The next day I started looking for the CD, which was out of print, by then.
It does seem to have become a staple, I have counted about eight recordings that are either available or were in the catalogue in the last decade. It is that rare thing: a popular piece of music which is also a very good piece of music.

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #143 on: August 25, 2021, 08:19:20 AM »
I thought that I'd wake up this thread after a two year hibernation. I've been listening to the marvellous Symphony No.3, which I rank alongside those by Copland, Harris, Schuman and Hanson as great third symphonies. I found Diamond's obituary on the Guardian website. The encounter with Rodzinski made me laugh:
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2005/jun/17/guardianobituaries.artsobituaries

Would love to hear this CD.  As you might recall, I'm a big fan of Mr. Starker and the cello overall.  :)  How did you find the other works Jeffrey?

PD

Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #144 on: August 25, 2021, 09:15:03 AM »
Would love to hear this CD.  As you might recall, I'm a big fan of Mr. Starker and the cello overall.  :)  How did you find the other works Jeffrey?

PD

OK PD - my favourites are symphonies 3,4,1,2 in that order (they are all great) + the music for Romeo and Juliet and the 'Enormous Room'. Diamond himself (in response to my unsolicited fan-mail) told me that I should listen to this last work (after the poet e e cummings). I told Diamond how much I loved his 3rd Symphony (I still do) and he responded that he was proud that he possesses the know-how to compose such a work when he was very young (29/30). I was really moved to receive such a letter from him as I knew that he had a reputation for being a bit of an irascible character.

This is my favourite Diamond CD:
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 09:18:46 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #145 on: August 25, 2021, 09:27:30 AM »
OK PD - my favourites are symphonies 3,4,1,2 in that order (they are all great) + the music for Romeo and Juliet and the 'Enormous Room'. Diamond himself (in response to my unsolicited fan-mail) told me that I should listen to this last work (after the poet e e cummings). I told Diamond how much I loved his 3rd Symphony (I still do) and he responded that he was proud that he possesses the know-how to compose such a work when he was very young (29/30). I was really moved to receive such a letter from him as I knew that he had a reputation for being a bit of an irascible character.

This is my favourite Diamond CD:

Great story Jeffrey!  How did you find the cello work itself Jeffrey?

PD

Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #146 on: August 25, 2021, 09:50:12 AM »
Great story Jeffrey!  How did you find the cello work itself Jeffrey?

PD

Oh, sorry PD - you were asking about the 'Kaddish for Cello and Orchestra' which I found to be a darkly moving and eloquent work (rather in the spirit of Bloch's 'Schelomo' or 'Voice in the Wilderness').
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #147 on: August 25, 2021, 09:52:59 AM »
Oh, sorry PD - you were asking about the 'Kaddish for Cello and Orchestra' which I found to be a darkly moving and eloquent work (rather in the spirit of Bloch's 'Schelomo' or 'Voice in the Wilderness').
Thanks for your thoughts.  :)

PD

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #148 on: August 25, 2021, 12:12:29 PM »
I’ve always been struck by the similarities between Kaddish and the first movement of Finzi’s Cello Concerto. In the former case of course Diamond is using traditional synagogue type material, but the similarity between the two works suggests that Finzi is too. I wrote to Stephen Banfield pointing out that the first movement of the Cello Concerto undermines to some extent Banfield’s ‘Finzi suppressed his Jewish heritage and could only be a minor composer’ thesis. He promised to listen to the two works.

Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #149 on: August 26, 2021, 03:36:09 AM »
I’ve always been struck by the similarities between Kaddish and the first movement of Finzi’s Cello Concerto. In the former case of course Diamond is using traditional synagogue type material, but the similarity between the two works suggests that Finzi is too. I wrote to Stephen Banfield pointing out that the first movement of the Cello Concerto undermines to some extent Banfield’s ‘Finzi suppressed his Jewish heritage and could only be a minor composer’ thesis. He promised to listen to the two works.
A very interesting point about Finzi's Jewish heritage. I think he was of the same family as that featured in the film 'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis'.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 03:38:36 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline T. D.

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #150 on: August 26, 2021, 05:14:05 AM »
OK PD - my favourites are symphonies 3,4,1,2 in that order (they are all great) + the music for Romeo and Juliet and the 'Enormous Room'. Diamond himself (in response to my unsolicited fan-mail) told me that I should listen to this last work (after the poet e e cummings). I told Diamond how much I loved his 3rd Symphony (I still do) and he responded that he was proud that he possesses the know-how to compose such a work when he was very young (29/30). I was really moved to receive such a letter from him as I knew that he had a reputation for being a bit of an irascible character.

This is my favourite Diamond CD:


Thanks for the anecdote. Nice to read this, as I'd also gotten a strong impression of irascibility.

Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #151 on: August 26, 2021, 05:47:37 AM »
Thanks for the anecdote. Nice to read this, as I'd also gotten a strong impression of irascibility.
My pleasure!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #152 on: August 27, 2021, 02:31:13 AM »
OK PD - my favourites are symphonies 3,4,1,2 in that order (they are all great) + the music for Romeo and Juliet and the 'Enormous Room'. Diamond himself (in response to my unsolicited fan-mail) told me that I should listen to this last work (after the poet e e cummings). I told Diamond how much I loved his 3rd Symphony (I still do) and he responded that he was proud that he possesses the know-how to compose such a work when he was very young (29/30). I was really moved to receive such a letter from him as I knew that he had a reputation for being a bit of an irascible character.

This is my favourite Diamond CD:


Again, this for me is my go to version, except repacked to Naxos. I entirely concur with the opinion of the master (Jeffrey, of course). Agreed on the order of favourite symphonies also, although the later numbers are pushing for a place also, starting with #6 and #5. String quartets are excellent, but my only exposure is via the Potomac Quartet.

Interesting self-confidence bordering on arrogance, it seems... 'he was proud that he possesses the know-how to compose such a work when he was very young'.

Diamond is undoubtedly a diamond.

*coughs*
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

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Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #153 on: August 27, 2021, 10:54:08 AM »
Again, this for me is my go to version, except repacked to Naxos. I entirely concur with the opinion of the master (Jeffrey, of course). Agreed on the order of favourite symphonies also, although the later numbers are pushing for a place also, starting with #6 and #5. String quartets are excellent, but my only exposure is via the Potomac Quartet.

Interesting self-confidence bordering on arrogance, it seems... 'he was proud that he possesses the know-how to compose such a work when he was very young'.

Diamond is undoubtedly a diamond.

*coughs*
I dug out my letter from DD. I see that he encouraged me to listen to the 'TOM' music and not 'The Enormous Room' as I originally thought. Am not sure that the letter will be legible but I can easily transcribe it:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #154 on: August 27, 2021, 02:39:16 PM »
I dug out my letter from DD. I see that he encouraged me to listen to the 'TOM' music and not 'The Enormous Room' as I originally thought. Am not sure that the letter will be legible but I can easily transcribe it:


I revise my opinion. What a lovely letter!
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

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Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #155 on: August 27, 2021, 09:29:53 PM »
I revise my opinion. What a lovely letter!
Yes, it's very charming Danny. I was delighted to receive it.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #156 on: August 28, 2021, 01:35:00 AM »
I dug out my letter from DD. I see that he encouraged me to listen to the 'TOM' music and not 'The Enormous Room' as I originally thought. Am not sure that the letter will be legible but I can easily transcribe it:


I wonder how many fan letters David Diamond received. Maybe your letter to David Diamond was framed over the desk in Dave's study and now has a place of honor in the David Diamond archive. :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #157 on: August 28, 2021, 06:41:25 AM »
I dug out my letter from DD. I see that he encouraged me to listen to the 'TOM' music and not 'The Enormous Room' as I originally thought. Am not sure that the letter will be legible but I can easily transcribe it:


This is great, Jeffrey. I’m thinking of writing a letter to Aho and telling him how much I love his music.

Edit: I see Aho is a FB user, so I just sent him a private message. My only hope is he reads it. I’m not worried about a response as I know he’s a rather busy man.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2021, 06:46:16 AM by Mirror Image »
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Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #158 on: August 28, 2021, 01:04:51 PM »
I wonder how many fan letters David Diamond received. Maybe your letter to David Diamond was framed over the desk in Dave's study and now has a place of honor in the David Diamond archive. :)
Haha - I like to think so!
 :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

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Re: The Diamond Mine
« Reply #159 on: August 28, 2021, 01:09:20 PM »
This is great, Jeffrey. I’m thinking of writing a letter to Aho and telling him how much I love his music.

Edit: I see Aho is a FB user, so I just sent him a private message. My only hope is he reads it. I’m not worried about a response as I know he’s a rather busy man.
Thanks John - I hope that you get a response. Over the years I have occasionally written to composers whose music has meant a lot to me. I had particularly nice replies from Vagn Holmboe, William Alwyn and, most of all, the Irish composer John Kinsella. More recently I had some nice email exchanges with the British composer Robin Walker and the Norwegian composer Stale Kleiberg (composer of the fine 'Bell Reef' Symphony).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).