Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

FINE CONDITION

Price: $500.00

DAVID DIAMOND - COMPOSER
Text Box: COMPOSER AUTOGRAPHS

Phone: 212-860-5541 

 

Extraordinary quarto (9.5” x 12.5”) 14 bar musical quotation of his work, “This Sacred Ground”, Florence,  July, 9, 1963 on Paramount Pictures Corporation manila music single sided staved stock.  The quotation was written five months before the World Premiere of the work in Buffalo, New York, November 17, 1963. 

Diamond (1915-2005) was an incredibly prolific, gay, Jewish composer with communist sympathies. His political activism led to his leaving America and settling in Italy during the House Committee on Un-American Activities purge and living there for fourteen years.  A Boulanger baby at the Ecole Americaine de Musique, Fontainebleau, he also studied with Roger Sessions at Eastman and Bernard Rogers in Cleveland. 

Among the most intriguing works he created was, “This Sacred Ground for Large Orchestra, Chorus and Baritone” for the 100th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s November 19, 1863 Gettysburg Address.  Josef Krips, the dedicatee of the work, conceived of the piece in 1961 while he was in his final season as Artistic Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic. Diamond at the time technically was living in Italy, accepted the Slee Professor of Music at the State University of New York at Buffalo for the 1961 school year; a one year visiting professorship, given to a master composer who was accomplished in fugue, counterpoint and harmony, a la the Paris Conservatoire.  (Aaron Copland had been the first in 1957-1958).  Krips recruited a local television station and radio station to combine funds for a $5,000 commission.  Diamond completed the work in 1962 well before the November 17, 1963 world premiere.  Their new Artistic Director, Lukas Foss led the live World Premiere concert which was broadcast on national television by CBS, November 19, 1963 the precise day of the Centennial.  Diamond who had accepted a second year of the Slee Professorship post was at the premiere.  Krips would perform the work later that year at his first concert at Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, soloist, George London.

New York Times critic, Raymond Ericson wrote on November 17th, There had been no large-scale setting of the address, and the composer was understandably hesitant about adding music to what he considered a self-sufficient literary creation.  He eventually felt he had found a way to shape the work and he completed it last year…...Mr. Diamond knows how to set the English language, and he has created a solid score in the Copland-Americana style…Of course Ericson is referring to Copland’s 1942 work, “Lincoln Portrait” written for orchestra and the spoken word which cites portions of several of Lincoln’s speeches, letters and addresses.

Interestingly, Diamond’s musical disciple, conductor Gerard Schwarz, made the only professional studio recording of the composer’s work in 2004 with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra on the Naxos label.

It is unusual, but not unheard of for composers’ to quote works before the World Premiere.

One central crease else near mint condition.