Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 51, Peace

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

David Maslanka gave his final public address on May 6, 2017 before a performance of his Symphony No. 4 at the University of Hartford. In that address, he focused his remarks on the idea of peace and finding peace through music. He said, “Musical tone is one of the most powerful forces in the world – maybe even the most power. We don’t tend to think of it that way.  But contemplate the idea of musical tone by itself: at the core of each tone is peace. And that is a cumulative function of a piece of music – it creates peace. When people are performing together, they are at peace with themselves and with one another. They are at peace with the community. The community comes and participates in peace. This is the core of what’s going to carry us through the current extremely difficult times.”

This week, we feature performances of three of David’s works inspired specifically to help us as listeners and performers around the world create peace in our communities: Peace, Angel of Mercy, and Hymn for World Peace.


According to Maslanka, “Peace was made as an encore for the 2012 Tokyo Masato Kumoi Sax Quartet premiere concert of my Songs for the Coming Day, and my transcription of the Bach Goldberg Variations. The music for Peace is a slight recomposition of the ‘song’ that ends the first movement of my Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble. This ‘song without words’ is an evolution of the chorale melody Christum wir sollen loben schonPeace may seem like simple music, but it requires an exquisite balance of tone and dynamic control.” Watch below as the La Sierra University Saxophone Quartet gives a heartwarming performance of this music.

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Angel of Mercy

Angel of Mercy was commissioned by Timothy Mahr and the St. Olaf Band in honor of the band’s 125th anniversary. Maslanka dedicated this piece to them “with profound gratitude and respect.”

Maslanka said that “Angel of Mercy is a prayer for peace in our troubled time. Three Chorale melodies are the foundation for this music: ‘O Fear, Disquiet, and Apprehension,’ ‘Oh, How Blest Are Ye,’ and ‘I Leave All Things to God’s Direction.'” Watch below as Fred J. Allen leads the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music Wind Ensemble in a fantastic rendition of this music.

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Hymn for World Peace

From David’s own program note:

The title, “Hymn for World Peace,” came from the simple thought that if we want world peace, we can begin as individuals to ask for it. Music making opens hearts and creates peace in individuals and communities. This is a powerful step as musicians that we can take.

Watch below as Scott Hagen leads the University Wind Symphony in a breathtaking performance of this music.

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We would love to hear from you! If you know of any outstanding performances of David Maslanka’s music on the web, please email us at