Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.
An angel is a supernatural being in various religions and mythologies. Abrahamic religions often them as benevolent celestial intermediaries between God (or Heaven) and humanity. Other roles include protectors and guides for humans, and servants of God. Abrahamic religions describe angelic hierarchies, which vary by sect and religion. Some angels have specific names (such as Gabriel or Michael) or titles (such as seraph or archangel). Humans have also used “angel” to describe various spirits and figures in other religious traditions.
From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:
An angel is an attendant spirit or guardian who watches over us.
This week, we are excited to feature three of David’s works that make either direct or indirect reference to angels: Symphony No. 4, My Lady White, and Angel of Mercy.
Symphony No. 4
From David’s Program Note:
The sources that give rise to a piece of music are many and deep. It is possible to describe the technical aspects of a work – its construction principles, its orchestration – but nearly impossible to write of its soul nature except through hints and suggestions.
The roots of Symphony No. 4 are many. The central driving force is the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life. I feel it is the powerful voice of the earth that comes to me from my adopted western Montana, and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho. My personal experience of the voice is one of being helpless and torn open by the power of the thing that wants to be expressed – the welling-up shout that cannot be denied. I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing. The response in the voice of the earth is the answering shout of thanksgiving, and the shout of praise.
Out of this, the hymn tune Old Hundred, several other hymn tunes (the Bach chorales Only Trust in God to Guide You and Christ Who Makes Us Holy), and original melodies which are hymn-like in nature, form the backbone of Symphony No. 4.