DIAMOND: Psalm (1936). Kaddish for Cello and
Orchestra (1987). Symphony No. 3 (1945).
The orchestras website, www.SeattleSymphony.org, reports that Naxos is releasing 10 discs of American music this year that originally appeared on Delos, before the divorce that ended an association of some 15 years. The first of these newly remastered and repackaged issues contains(in playing time) two-thirds of Delos DE 3103: we still hear the rumbustious early Psalm that David Diamond wrote in 1936; the Third Symphony of 1945 that waited five years for a first performance (in Boston, conducted by Charles Munch); and Kaddish of 1987 for cello and orchestra, written forYo-Yo Ma at conductor Gerard Schwarzs suggestion but which János Starker recorded on January 6, 1991. The sum, though, is only 50:27 minutes. Whats missing is the 1951, five-movement suite for Romeo and Juliet on Broadway starring Olivia de Havilland.
If you have DE-3103, theres no urgent reason to replace it; John
Eargle was the recording engineer back in in 1990-91, and then as now
one of the Americas sonic masters. His associate Albert G. Swanson
is listed as remastering engineer under the production aegis
of Laurence E. Tucker, the orchestras Director of Artistic Planning.
The sound is a tad brighter, the volume level a tad higher, and the timpani
explosively more so in the Symphony: clarity has been achieved at the
expense of deep bass and those delicate sonic textures Eargle captured
in the Andante of Symphony No. 3, the loveliest music on this disc. No.
3 is a four-movement work fast, slow, fast, slow with a
declamatory opening, then the Andante, a prankish scherzo (Allegro vivo,
which belies the canard of Diamonds being a sober-sides), and an
Adagio assai conclusion that recalls the first movements rhetoric
before a quiet ending.