Diamond: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 / Schwartz, Seattle Symphony

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Gerard Schwarz's David Diamond symphony recordings originally appeared on the Delos label in the early 1990s. They remain impressive (though unfortunately still rare) documents of this composer's uniquely engaging music. In contrast to Symphony No. 1's ebullient opening, Diamond's Second begins with a wistful Adagio funebre, one of the work's longer and more profound movements, another being the beautiful Andante expressivo (with its evocative string and woodwind writing). The harmonic and melodic style occasionally recalls Copland, who comes most immediately to mind in the brass and bass drum play of the scherzo. However, the finale brings that unique blend of folksy Americana and classical rigor that marks much of Diamond's work.

Symphony No. 4's finale uses a similar rhythmic structure and even shares the same key as the Second, but otherwise the two works are quite different. Diamond compacts a lot of material into three brief movements. The musical language is less overtly tuneful than in No. 2, but the composer's expanded harmonic and textural palette ensures ever-captivating sounds, just as his sense of dramatic contrast and well-timed climaxes provide substantial emotional impact throughout. Schwarz conducts both scores with keen sensitivity, while the Seattle Symphony (particularly the brass in No. 4) relishes the challenge of this then-unfamiliar music. The low-level recordings require a volume boost to register fully, and they retain some shallowness, but not enough to detract from full enjoyment of the performances.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com

Product Description:

  • Release Date: June 01, 2004

  • Catalog Number: 8559154

  • UPC: 636943915424

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: David Diamond

  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra


  1. Symphony no 2

    Composer: David Diamond

    Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Gerard Schwarz

  2. Symphony no 4

    Composer: David Diamond

    Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: Gerard Schwarz