David Diamond’s “Rounds for String Orchestra”: Freedom and Adventure

In 1944, the American composer David Diamond (1915-2005) received a commission from Dimitri Mitropoulos with a simple and specific instruction. “These are distressing times,” he wrote. “Most of the difficult music I play is distressing. Make me happy.” Mitropoulos, then principal conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, had become disillusioned with the stream of thorny, “distressing” twelve-tone pieces which crossed his desk. Diamond’s response was the jubilant, three-movement Rounds for String Orchestra. It remains …

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