Eternal Garden: Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano

The Red Door: Clarinet Works of David Maslanka – A conversation with Jeremy Reynolds and Matthew Maslanka

This conversation is about the album The Red Door: Clarinet Works of David Maslanka (2021)

Works discussed:

Three Pieces (1975)
Fourth Piece (1979)
Little Symphony (1989)
Eternal Garden (2009)
Trio No. 1 (1971/2012)
Trio No. 2 (1981)
A Litany for Courage and the Seasons (1988)

Matthew Maslanka: My name is Matthew Maslanka. I’m David Maslanka’s son. I’m being joined by Jeremy Reynolds who is professor of clarinet at University of Denver Lamont School of Music. And he has just released a two-CD set of basically everything dad ever wrote for chamber clarinet. And it is just a stunning piece of work. And I am grateful to be able to talk with you about it today.

Jeremy Reynolds: So thank you. Matthew, thank you so much. This has been a long time coming. And thank you for speaking with me. And anytime I can talk about your dad’s work and working with him and stuff. It’s always my pleasure. So it’s great. Fantastic.

MM: Why don’t you tell me a little bit about how this thing came to be?

JR: Yeah. So a very good friend of mine, Peggy Dees, who your dad also knew quite well. She was integral in getting Eternal Garden off the ground. She was I think the leader of the commission project. And she contacted – No, we met actually doing a recording session down in Florida for I think it was Carl Fischer. And we became really good friends and she roped me into the commissioning project for […]

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 81, Eternal Garden

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature two new performances of Eternal Garden as well as a video designed by The David Maslanka Foundation to be shown before a performance of this music.

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 featuring the clarinet.

Music for an Atomic Age: David Maslanka’s “Eternal Garden: Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano”
PDF, 12.3MB

David Maslanka has an established place as a composer of twenty-first century wind music. To date, his compositional output includes eight symphonies for band, several concertos, four wind quintets, and numerous works for solo instrument and piano. His latest work for clarinet and piano, Eternal Garden, features musical and emotional depth which performers must express. Beyond an analysis of the musical elements contained in the piece, this document conveys a firsthand account of the vital role between Maslanka and those who perform his music. The first part of the document discusses Maslanka’s life, education, and compositional process. Part two is devoted solely to analyzing the compositional components and extra-musical essence of Eternal Garden.

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 “Eternal Garden: Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano”
PDF, 25.7MB

The purpose of this study is to provide an expressive interpretation of David Maslanka’s Eternal Garden: Four Songs for Clarinet and Piano. Similar to past research on composers and the clarinetists they composed for, this study will provide a valuable primary source of the composer’s inspiration, creative process, philosophy of expression and the clarinetist who commissioned the work. This examination will explore interpretation and an emotional relationship to the music, which was prompted by Maslanka’s recommendation to acquire “a profound grasp, whether you have words for it or not, the reason for being of the piece.” The first objective of this study is to develop an expressive interpretation of Eternal Garden from the clarinetist’s perspective. The second objective was prompted by the deeply powerful responses that the author has experienced when performing and listening to Maslanka’s compositions. Expressive characteristics in the author’s interpretation that evoke powerful feelings and allow for such an experience to occur will also be explored.

The first chapter will focus on Maslanka’s musical training, development as a composer, and a section devoted to his expressive philosophy and creative process. The second chapter will review […]