Music: Who Said Garbage?

Many contemporary composers, says peppery Composer David Diamond, 41, are engaged in "filling up the garbage cans of 20th century music" in "bad imitations of Igor Stravinsky." Their worst sin is writing purely "from their brains" instead of their souls. Last week Rochester-born Composer Diamond sat in Manhattan's Carnegie Hall while the result of his most recent soul-searching, his Sixth Symphony, was performed by Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It seemed at times as if Diamond was unhappily living up to his own thesis.

His 23-minute work was strident, percussion-packed (including chromatic...

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