Thorne, Francis. (1922–2017) [Diamond, David. (1915–2005)]
Two Scores Dedicated and Inscribed to David Diamond
Two signed scores from the American composer noted for his integration of jazz sensibilities into the classical genre, both dedicated and inscribed to his teacher, composer David Diamond, and with two further autograph notes from Thorne to Diamond. Included are the score to Thorne's String Quartet (1960; 43 pp., softcover, 9.5 x 13 inches) inscribed to Diamond on the inside front wrapper: "For David—with deep gratitude, boundless respect and, as always, my love and affection—Francis / Florence, December 6, 1960"; the score to his Second Symphony (1964; 105 pp., spiral bound, 12.5 x 18 inches), inscribed to Diamond on the title: "For my dear friend and teacher, David—let us hope the music conveys my dedication to you more effectively than words ever could. With love, Francis (Franchees)"; an autograph letter on a large sheet (Florence, September 19, 1959; 13.25 x 18 inches) sending Diamond another score: "... you are someone who knows what the completion of this score has meant to me"; and a large sheet (12.25 x 17 inches) with printed orchestral instrumentation inscribed at the foot to Diamond: "For David / with deepest gratitude for your faith and help, without which this score would not exist—Affectionately, Francis." Both the scores are dedicated to Diamond, the Second Symphony on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday. In fine condition overall.
Francis Thorne was a student of Paul Hindemith at Yale University, before entering the U.S. Navy in 1942 where he served during World War II. After the war, he pursued a career on Wall Street and later, as a jazz pianist, after Duke Ellington heard him play the piano, and arranged an engagement for him at a New York jazz club. From 1959 to 1961, he studied composition in Florence, Italy with David Diamond, who encouraged Thorne to incorporate his jazz sensitivities into his symphonic compositions. Many of Thorne's more than 100 compositions are characterized by a distinct jazz flavor. He was also one of the first classical composers to write for the electric guitar and electric bass guitar.
From the collection of David Diamond, considered one of the preeminent American composers of his generation. He enjoyed wide success in the 1940's and 1950's, before the serial and modernist trends largely pushed him into the shadows. The New York Times described him as "part of what some considered a forgotten generation of great American symphonists, including Howard Hanson, Roy Harris, William Schuman, Walter Piston and Peter Mennin." Among his many close friends in the world of music were Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.