DAVID DIAMOND AS SONG COMPOSER: A SURVEY OF SELECTED VOCAL WORKS OF DAVID DIAMOND WITH A THEORETICAL AND STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF SIX EARLY SONGS, THE MIDNIGHT MEDITATION, AND HEBREW MELODIES
WELLS, ROBERT ALLEN, D.M.A. David Diamond as Song Composer (2006) Joel Hoffman, Advisor ABSTRACT David Leo Diamond (1915 – 2005) was one of the most prolific American composers of the twentieth century, having written eleven symphonies, nine string quartets, numerous works for solo piano and chamber ensemble, incidental music, and more than one hundred vocal works. A student of Roger Sessions and Nadia Boulanger, Diamond was a significant figure in American music, both as a composer and as a teacher. The purpose of this document is to highlight Diamond’s achievements as a composer of works for voice and piano by providing a survey of his compositions in this genre along with a theoretical and stylistic analysis of selected, seminal compositions. The first chapter will comprise a brief biography of Diamond’s life while placing his major compositions into the context of his stylistic evolution and development. Chapter Two, a survey the major works for voice and piano, will define more specifically Diamond’s compositional style and approach as illustrated by his setting of text to music. The third chapter includes more detailed analyses of six songs that are representative of his early period of composition, On Death (1943), For an Old Man (1943), Music, when soft voices die (1943), Epitaph (1945), To Lucasta, On Going to the Wars (1945), and My Spirit will not Haunt the Mound (1946). Two song cycles, The Midnight Meditation (1951), and Hebrew Melodies (1968) represent Diamond’s further evolution as a composer and are discussed in detail in this chapter. Chapter Four, the concluding chapter, summarizes Diamond’s achievements as a composer of significance in the genre of vocal literature and addresses the comparative lack of recognition he has received for his works for voice when compared with his instrumental compositions. Despite the breadth and depth of his output for voice, Diamond’s reputation rests primarily on his orchestral and chamber works. The songs of David Diamond merit further scholarly inquiry and more frequent public performance. It is the author’s assertion that increased study and performance of his works will elevate Diamond’s works to their rightful place in American Art Song.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:david diamond american art song twentieth century
Date of Publication:01/01/2006