Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.
Give Us This Day
From David Maslanka’s original Program Note:
The words “Give us this day” are, of course, from the Lord’s Prayer, but the inspiration for this music is Buddhist. I have recently read a book by the Vietnamese Bhuddist monk Thich Nhat Hahn (pronounced “Tick Nat Hahn”) entitled For a Future to be Possible. His premise is that a future for the planet is only possible if individuals become deeply mindful of themselves, deeply connected to who they really are. While this is not a new idea, and something that is an ongoing struggle for everyone, in my estimation it is the issue for world peace. For me, writing music, and working with people to perform music, are two of those points of deep mindfulness.
Music makes the connection to reality, and by reality I mean a true awakeness and awareness. Give Us This Day gives us this very moment of awakeness and awareness so that we can build a future in the face of a most dangerous and difficult time.
I chose the subtitle, “Short Symphony for Wind Ensemble,” because the music is not programmatic in nature. It has a full-blown symphonic character, even though there are only two movements. The music of the slower first movement is deeply searching, while that of the highly energized second movement is at times both joyful and sternly sober. The piece ends with a modal setting of the choral melody “Vater Unser in Himmelreich” (Our Father in Heaven) – No. 110 from the 371 four-part chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Watch below (beginning at 30:20) as Timothy Mahr leads the St. Olaf Band in a performance of Movement II from Spring Semester 2021.
Watch below as Jared Chase leads the Nazareth College Wind Symphony in a performance from October 21, 2020.
Watch below as Slade Denman leads the University of North Texas Concert Band in a performance from February 24, 2021.
For more information on Give Us This Day, please visit Give Us This Day @ davidmaslanka.com
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