EMMA LOU DIEMER (b.1927): Santa Barbara Overture (London Symphony Orchestra; Brynmore Llewelyn Jones), Marimba Concerto (Nathan Daughtrey [marimba], Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Joel Suben), Piano Concerto (Betty Oberacker [piano], Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra; Vladmír Válek).
Catalogue Number: 03O079
Label: Navona Records
Description: The ebullient Santa Barbara Overture of 1996 incorporates elements of Mexican, Spanish and Native American music along with some pentatonic Asian and jazz echoes in a good example of the type of curtain-raiser so many orchestras commission from living composers. The 1991 marimba concerto is driven more by texture and rhythm than by melody and at times the orchestra mirrors the articulation of the soloist. The longest work here is the single-movement piano concerto (27 minutes) which has four clearly demarcated moods and which runs an effective gamut from percussive and rhythmic to quietly lyrical in an approachable post-Romantic style seasoned with brasher neo-classical colors.