Articles

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 16 – Lesser-Known Works for Saxophone & Saxophone Quartet

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, exceptional performances of Peace, Tone Studies, Movement V, "Wie Bist Du, Seele?" and David's transcription of Goldberg Variations for Saxophone Quartet.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 14 – California & Montana

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, sensational performances of California, Montana Music: Fantasy on a Chorale Tune, and Montana Music: Three Dances for Percussion.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 12 – The Clarinet

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, fantastic performances of Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, Little Symphony on the name BArnEy CHilDS, and Desert Roads: Four Songs for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 11 – The Wind Quintet

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, phenomenal performances of Quintet for Winds No. 3, Movement I, Quintet for Winds No. 1, Movement 1, and the entirety of Quintet for Winds No. 2.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 7 – Tribute

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we remember the life of David Maslanka and Alison Matthews with unforgettable performances of Symphony No. 4, "Song for Alison" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba, and Symphony No. 10: The River of Time.

David Maslanka: an introduction

What do I find interesting? I am a constant and wide-ranging reader. My undergrad and graduate work was almost all music, with just minimum requirements in other areas. Since that time I have done extensive reading in many topics, including history, psychology, anthropology, religion, mythology and poetry. I read very little about music! History can [...]

By |2017-12-17T11:59:25+00:0027 September 2016|Featured, Uncategorized|

Maslanka in China

David Maslanka shakes the hand of Li Fangfang after a powerful performance of Symphony No. 4 by the Beijing Wind Orchestra at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Li invited David to participate in the 2016 Asia Pacific Band Directors Association Conference.

By |2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:006 August 2016|Featured, Travel|

Honorary Doctorate from St. Olaf College

David Maslanka was honored with an honorary doctorate by St. Olaf College. Here's the entire ceremony: The following is the full text of Dr. Timothy Mahr's and David Maslanka's remarks. Dr. Timothy Mahr's remarks [starts at 11:50] On the nomination of the faculty, and with the approval of the St. Olaf Board of [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:005 August 2016|Angel of Mercy|

January Update

Midwest 2015 Maslanka Press exhibited at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago this past December for the first time. We were excited to welcome so many enthusiastic friends to the back corner of the McCormick Center. We expect this to be the first of many appearances at festivals and conventions across the United States and around [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:0019 January 2016|News|

8 Questions for David Maslanka

The following is from an email exchange with Natasha Rotondaro, a grade 12 student from Emily Carr Secondary School in Vaughn, Ontario Natasha Rotondaro: What is your musical background? David Maslanka: I began clarinet studies at age nine. As a high school student I took lessons at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, and [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:002 January 2016|Composing, Interview, Mass|

Accessible Works, Updated Music, and WASBE 2015 Wrap-up

Works for Younger Wind Ensembles We've just posted a two-part series going over David's more accessible works for wind ensemble. Read part 1, talking about how directors might think about selecting new music and part 2, a listing (in order of difficulty) of works with commentary by David himself. New Works Saint Francis (2015) 18' Grade 5-6 for [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:45+00:0023 July 2015|News|

Restoring the Trombone Concerto’s original Hard Mode

In the second movement of David Maslanka's Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble, there is an extended and demanding technical section from m. 108 to m. 256, about four minutes of nearly continuous playing. It rests in the upper tessitura of the trombone range, mostly between D3 and C4, and alternates between very loud staccato [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0030 January 2015|Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble|

Getting Maximum Benefit from the Maslanka Chorales: a practical guide for directors

The Maslanka Collected Chorales are an extraordinary tool to help develop blend, balance, intonation, and ensemble cohesion in groups ranging from large symphonic bands and orchestras to small chamber groups or sectionals. With a daily 5-10 minutes per rehearsal you will hear a significant improvement in melodic and harmonic pitch awareness in your players. Dr. [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:001 October 2014|Collected Chorale Settings|

Music for an Atomic Age: David Maslanka’s “Eternal Garden: Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano”

Dr. Kip Franklin's doctoral dissertation on David's Eternal Garden: Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano begins with an overview of David's life, his compositional style, and the commissioning process for this work. Part two presents a thorough analysis of each of the four songs, followed by transcripts of interviews with the composer and a list of David's compositions [...]

David Maslanka and the Natural World: Three Studies of Music for Wind Ensemble

Kate Sutton's Master's thesis is a study on David's Third, Fourth, and Ninth Symphonies with special emphasis on their themes on nature. She explores the influence that moving to Missoula, Montana had on David for Symphony No. 3, his connection to the "powerful voice of the Earth" in Symphony No. 4, and the themes of nature [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0021 March 2014|Reference, Symphony No. 3, Symphony No. 4, Symphony No. 9|

How many players should perform a piece?

The division between "wind ensemble" and "band" is not clearly defined. A wind ensemble can be anywhere from one player on a part up to a total of 60 or even a few more in the ensemble, meaning multiples of flutes, clarinets, trumpets, trombones, and others. For my wind ensemble scores I have consistently indicated [...]

By |2014-03-09T12:36:10+00:005 February 2014|Reference|

About difficulty

Most of my wind music has been written beyond the grade system. For the pieces that I have written for younger bands (now a fair number), I have composed them paying careful attention to the specific band for which I was writing, rather than the generalization of a grade number. The grading system can offer [...]

By |2014-03-09T12:36:18+00:005 February 2014|Reference|

The Use of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Chorales in David Maslanka’s Quintet for Winds No. 3 for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon

Elisa Moles' thesis on David's third Quintet for Winds focuses specifically on his use of Bach chorales. Her thorough analysis of the quintet displays David's use of chorales as an integral part of the composition. Through her research, she explains David's incorporation of thematic, harmonic, and formal chorale elements as a catalyst for his original composition, using the [...]

By |2016-08-20T20:39:16+00:002 May 2013|Quintet for Winds No. 3, Reference|

What young composers need

This is an email message sent 13 April 2013 to Roger Briggs, composition chair, and Chris Bianco, director of bands, at Western Washington University. David had just returned from working with the wind ensemble and student composers. Hi Roger, I am very glad that we had some time together, and thanks again for sharing your [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0013 April 2013|Correspondence|

Expressive Interpretation in David Maslanka’s “Eternal Garden: Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano”

Dr. Kimberly Wester's doctoral dissertation on David's Eternal Garden focuses on the expressive interpretation of the work, providing performance considerations and an overview of research on music and emotion. Biographical information on David is also included with information on his creative process, as well as discussions with the commissioner of the work, Dr. Peggy Dees-Moseley. Expressive Interpretation in David Maslanka’s [...]

A Conductor’s Examination of Three Concertos with Wind Ensemble

Dr. Travis Cross' doctoral dissertation includes a chapter on David's Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble and a transcript of an interview with the composer. His research presents an analysis of the Song Book's formal structure, harmonic scheme, and use of Bach chorales. Cross further discusses David's approach to writing the work, the interaction between the soloist [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:001 December 2012|Reference, Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble|

David Maslanka’s Desert Roads, Four Songs for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble: An Analysis and Performer’s Guide

Dr. Joshua Mietz' doctoral dissertation on David's first clarinet concerto, Desert Roads, provides a comprehensive analysis and helpful advice to soloists and conductors performing the work. The author also includes thoroughly researched biographical information essential to understanding the evolution of David's composing from his early career to the creation of this concerto. PDF available through the following [...]

David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 7 : An Examination of Analytical, Emotional, and Spiritual Connections Through a “Maslankian” Approach

Lane Weaver's doctoral dissertation on David's Symphony No. 7 provides an analysis of each movement while providing an inside look into the creation of this symphony. The author also provides thorough biographical information and an extensive discussion of the "Maslankian" approach to composition. David Maslanka's Symphony No. 7 : An Examination of Analytical, Emotional, and Spiritual [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0021 May 2011|Reference, Symphony No. 7|

A Study of David Maslanka’s Unending Stream of Life

This is Scott Hippensteel's excellent dissertation from 2011 on Unending Stream of Life. He situates David's music in wind ensemble literature, discusses his style, and expertly analyses the piece itself. His recommendations for conductors preparing the work are especially helpful. A Study of David Maslanka's Unending Stream of Life PDF, 7 MB Abstract: This study [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:009 May 2011|Reference, Unending Stream of Life|

A Conductor’s Insight Into Performance and Interpretive Issues in Give Us This Day by David Maslanka

Dr. Lauren Ann Denney Wright's doctoral dissertation on Give Us This Day focuses on the technical, expressive, and interpretive issues a conductor might face when programming this work. The dissertation also gives a brief biographical sketch, a discussion of David's compositional process, and the history of how this work came to be written. A Conductor's Insight Into [...]

By |2016-08-20T20:40:11+00:008 May 2010|Give Us This Day, Reference|

Remarks before the premiere of A Child’s Garden of Dreams, Book 2

Remarks made 7 December 2008 in Boone, NC before the premiere of A Child's Garden of Dreams, Book 2, by the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra, James Allen Anderson, conductor. I'm not going to say too much about the music here, but I do want to comment on how things go. The original Child's Garden [...]

Remarks before the Trombone Concerto Premiere

Remarks given at the premiere performance of the Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble, October 2007; Miami, Florida In the words of the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, “We are life, we are inextinguishable.” The reasons for living or dying, especially dying, and especially when someone close to us passes, are all too often inscrutable. [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0030 October 2007|Concerto for Trombone and Wind Ensemble|

The Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano (1988) by David Maslanka: An Analytical and Performance Guide

Dr. Camille Olin's doctoral dissertation on David's Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano provides a performer's guide to the sonata, as well as an analysis of the harmonic structure, harmonic language, and unifying features of the work. An interview with David is also included, providing a discussion of the work from the composer's perspective. The Sonata for Alto Saxophone [...]

By |2016-08-22T21:35:09+00:0021 May 2007|Reference, Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano|

Maslanka Symphony No. 5: Conducting Via Lucid Analysis Technique

Dr. Christopher Werner's doctoral dissertation uses David's Symphony No. 5 as a means of exploring a new score study and conducting performance method, the Lucid Analysis Technique, which is of his own creation. As explained in the dissertation, Werner's technique takes various musical events and elements in Symphony No. 5 and uses them as symbols for use in [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0030 April 2005|Reference, Symphony No. 5|

David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 3: A Relational Treatise on Commissioning, Composition, and Performance

Dr. Brenton Alston's doctoral dissertation on David's Symphony No. 3 focuses on how the work came to be commissioned and David's compositional approach to writing the work. The research presents a thorough analysis of each of the composition's five movements with concluding performance considerations. Finally, the appendices provide interview transcripts, facsimiles of the original program notes, an article about [...]

By |2016-08-22T21:33:03+00:001 May 2004|Reference, Symphony No. 3|

David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4: A Conductor’s Analysis with Performance Considerations

Dr. Stephen Bolstad's dissertation on David's Symphony No. 4 gives a thorough analysis and helpful advice to conductors. The author also includes a brief biographical sketch and provides insight into David's unique compositional approach to this work. David Maslanka's Symphony No. 4: A Conductor's Analysis with Performance Considerations PDF, 4 MB Abstract: In the last [...]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:0019 August 2002|Reference, Symphony No. 4|