Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 118, Recent Performances of Mountain Roads

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.

Mountain Roads

From David’s Program Note:

The music of Mountain Roads is a very personal statement. I feel very deeply about every bit of it. The musical plan of it follows the model a Baroque cantata, and style and content reflect my years of study of the Bach chorales, and of Bach in general. Obviously there are no words in my “cantata” but the music revolves entirely around two chorale melodies. The main one is “Alle Menschen müssen sterben” (All men must die) and the second is “Wo soll ich fliehen” (Where shall I run to?)

The title Mountain Roads comes from a dream that I had while writing this piece. In it I was part of a work crew making new roads in high mountain country. It was springtime, the weather was clear, sunny and comfortable, although there was still snow on the ground. The effect of the place was exhilarating as only mountain wilderness can be. It seemed to me that the dream was a beautiful metaphor for new life and new spiritual opening.

The paradox embodied in this exuberant and uplifting music lies in the title of the main chorale “All men must die,” and further reinforced by the second chorale, “Where shall I run to?” The first title suggests the inevitability of death, but is neither morbid nor about mass destruction. The idea of death is not so much about final end as about change. The process of growth is constantly about “dying” to one way of thinking or feeling, and opening to another. After all is said and done, there is the fact of physical death. The awareness of that fact points up our deep attachment to all the forms of this life. It makes experience of all things both deeply sweet and deeply sad. It also suggests the inevitable release of all the forms that we know, and the movement toward whatever exists beyond form.

Watch below as the Carmesi Quartet gives an energetic performance of Movement I.

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Watch below as the GEMM Quartet gives a beautiful performance of Movement V.

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Watch below as the Plexus Quartet gives a moving performance of Movement VI.

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For more information on Mountain Roads, please visit Mountain Roads @

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By |2021-07-15T19:32:14+00:0015 July 2021|Chamber Music, Featured, Maslanka Weekly, Mountain Roads|