An Examination of David Maslanka’s Marimba Concerti: Arcadia II for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble and Concerto for Marimba and Band: A Lecture Recital
Dr. Michael Varner’s lecture recital on David’s marimba concerti gives an analysis of the musical structure and marimba techniques in Arcadia II and the Concerto for Marimba and Band. The lecture provides insight into influences that have contributed to David’s unique approach to writing for marimba and gives an overview of the wealth of repertoire he has written for this instrument.
Although David Maslanka is not a percussionist, his writing for marimba shows a solid appreciation of the idiomatic possibilities developed by recent innovations for the instrument. The marimba is included in at least eighteen of his major compositions, and in most of those it is featured prominently. Both Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble and Concerto for Marimba and Band display the techniques and influences that have become characteristic of his compositional style. However, they express radically different approaches to composition due primarily to Maslanka’s growth as a composer. Maslanka’s traditional musical training, the clear influence of diverse composers, and his sensitivity to extra-musical influences such as geographic location have resulted in a very distinct musical style. His exemplary attention to detail and sound timbres give his works an individualized stamp. The evolution of motivic gestures is the most distinctive characteristic of Maslanka’s compositional process. Maslanka freely incorporates forms and structural principles of the baroque and classical periods, but these principles are not applied in a strict sense. These factors combine to […]