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The Milken Archive of Jewish American Music will be releasing a new compact disc recording titled "Sabbath Eve Service" with excerpts from David Diamond's Mizmor L'David. The recording features performances by Charles D. Osborne, Cantor, Aaron David Miller, Organ and the Rochester Singers. Samuel Adler conducts. No release date has been announced.

The Milken Archive has also contacted the Estate of David Diamond to obtain performance materials for A Song for Hope (1987), with which he collaborated with Elie Wiesel. The original performance took place in June 1987 at the 92nd St. Y in New York City.

Of that performance, Michael Kimmelman wrote in the New York Times:

"The music, through-composed and lasting roughly 45 minutes, simmers with an unbroken sense of outrage and despair.

Conducting the New York Chamber Symphony...Gerard Schwarz seemed most concerned with maintaining a properly reverential tone and kept his players hushed through most of the performance, letting the singers hold center stage....The bass-baritone John Cheek delivered the lines of Jeremiah in portentous tone; the bass James Patterson was a fine Ezekiel; Jon Garrison, a tenor, sang the part of Zedekiah well. The soprano Dawn Upshaw, as the narrator, was a sturdy, touching central character..."

There is no word yet if this is scheduled to be recorded.

At the time of his death David Diamond left a fascinating and yet unfinished autobiography. His biography/autobiography is currently being written by noted author Barry Paris.

Paris has written the biographies of Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo, Tony Curtis and Audrey Hepburn. With the legendary actress and teacher Stella Adler, he co-authored, "Stella Adler on Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov".

This past April there was a concert in Seattle where the students of the David Diamond Composer's Workshop had their works performed by members of the Seattle Symphony. Conductor, Gerard Schwarz moderated the concert, and said that it was a great success. The Workshop is funded by Samuel N. Elliott and the Irene Diamond Foundation.

The David Diamond Archive at the Library of Congress web page is now online. As the Library of Congress begins to sort through the scores, diaries and personal effects, more information will become available. To access the web page, click here.

February 12, 2009 marks the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial.

Peermusic Classical has selected as its "Featured Work" David Diamond's setting of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
for mixed chorus, children’s chorus, baritone solo and orchestra duration, titled This Sacred Ground.

In 1963 conductor Josef Krips asked David Diamond to compose a choral setting of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Commissioned by the Buffalo Evening News and radio station WBEN, it was premiered late that year by Lukas Foss conducting the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra. Krips later performed it with the San Francisco Symphony. In 1994 Gerard Schwarz recorded the work with the Seattle Symphony.

Steven Lowe wrote for the Seattle Symphony performances:

"A 43-bar orchestral introduction sets the tone for the powerful text. As is typical, Diamond’s harmonic vocabulary is tonal/modal, with judicious use of piquant dissonances to heighten emotional impact. It is always a challenge for a composer to set prose, rather than the customary poetry, in a song cycle, and Diamond’s imaginative setting balances the rhythmic freedom of recitative with the structured cadence of an aria."

Click here for to hear an audio sample and for more information about This Sacred Ground.

Click here to order the CD.

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