Season after Pentecost, 2023
American composer David Diamond was born on July 9, 1915 and died only four summers ago.
It may interest readers to know that the increasingly popular Eric Whitacre was one of his composition students.
Diamond was prolific, writing eleven symphonies (take that Beethoven!), various concertos, instrumental works large and small (including one of my favorites Rounds for String Orchestra), and even a smattering of choral music. He never achieved the fame of his contemporaries Leonard Bernstein or Aaron Copland, but his voice, like theirs, is authentically American.
Because of this hiding in plain sight, there are some blind spots in his oeuvre. Conductor Gerard Schwartz championed David Diamond and recorded the symphonies with the Seattle Symphony. But only eleven of them.
There is another.
And, as you may have guessed, it is an organ symphony. It's a great big mammoth organ work -- an American version of a late Widor symphony, maybe.
It has all of the hallmarks of Diamond's style, and some great moments. I'm enjoying getting to know this major work of American organ repertoire which, to the best of my knowledge, has never been recorded.
The work was premiered by Leonard Raver in 1988 and reviewed not entirely favorably in the New York Times.
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