Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 59, Music For David

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

Hard as it is to believe, it was two years ago tomorrow that the world lost David Maslanka to colon cancer. His wife, Alison Matthews, died only a month earlier from kidney failure. Before and after his passing, there have been many composers who have dedicated music to David or to his memory. This week, we feature three of these composers and their compositions: “After Maslanka” from Tribute Trio by Russell Peterson, Funeral Song for David Maslanka by Andrew Bockman, and Montis – Tribute to David Maslanka by Elliott Sorenson.

Tribute Trio – II. After Maslanka

From Russell Peterson’s Program Note:

Tribute Trio was written for violinist Sonja Harasim and pianist Jay Hershberger, and transcribed for flute for Deb Harris. It is a 4-movement work in which each movement is dedicated to one of my favorite composers…The second movement is after one of my heroes, David Maslanka. David passed away this past year, so this movement has become more meaningful to me. It emulates David’s beautiful lyric moments, as well as his comfort with simplistic harmonies. David also loved J.S. Bach Chorales. He studied them daily and they naturally appeared in his music. The inclusion of alto flute in this movement was borrowed from David’s Saxophone Concerto.

Watch below as the Almost Impressive Trio performs this movement.

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Funeral Song for David Maslanka

From Andrew Bockman’s Program Note:

Funeral Song for David Maslanka is a piece that I composed for my Master’s jury at Eastman in the Spring of 2018. The piece is an homage to the passing of Maslanka, and is inspired by his Fourth Symphony in particular. I feel that this symphony had a major impact on the role of the percussion section (and the timpani) in the Wind Ensemble, and has served as an important part of my own musical upbringing. Maslanka writes in the score that the central driving force for this work “is the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life.” My Funeral Song aims to both reflect on Maslanka’s passing and express the many joys that he shared through his life and music.

Watch below as Andrew Bockman performs Funeral Song for David Maslanka.

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Montis – Tribute to David Maslanka

From Elliott Sorenson’s Program Note:

Montis translates to “mountain” which is what this piece reminded me of. This piece actually started as an untitled work. It received its name when I was working on it in Utah right next to the mountains. Seeing the mountains’ characteristics sparked my imagination and then everything started to click. The beauty, the treachery, the majesty, all encompassed in one entity. It was fascinating to see something so material have so many different emotional dimensions.

Listen below to this beautiful composition.

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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

By |2019-08-05T20:06:45+00:005 August 2019|Chamber Music, Composing, Featured, Maslanka Weekly|