David Diamond: Violin Concerto; Ilkka Talvi, violin; The Enormous Room; Symphony No. 1
Label: Naxos Remastered
Released: June 21, 2008
Catalog Num: 8.559157
It's so comforting to know that these excellent performances will have a new lease on life courtesy of Naxos. David Diamond's First Symphony (1841) is a compact, three-movement work lasting 22 minutes that stands with the best American products of the period. Characteristically springy rhythms in the outer movements make the music quite refreshing and emphasize the touching lyricism of the central Andante maestoso. The Violin Concerto No. 2 was receiving only its second performances ever when this recording was made. The talented Finnish violinst Ilkka Talvi proves an able exponent of this grandly conceived and marvelously scored work (listen to the imaginative violin/xylophone writing at the opening of the finale). It's a major statement by any definition and it surely deserves to return to the repertoire. The Enourmous Room, a fantasia for orchestra after the book by e.e. cummings, drives home Diamond's fundamentally Romantic outlook and caps a wholly winning disc that is as well played as it is well recorded. If you missed this the first time around, here's your chance to make up the loss.

--David Hurwitz,
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Updated: Jul-1-2008
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