Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 81, Eternal Garden

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

Eternal Garden was commissioned by a consortium headed by Seattle clarinetist Peggy Dees. The four movements are “Lamentation,” “On Chestnut Hill,” “Elegy: August 6, 1945,” and “Eternal Garden.” The movements become progressively longer, the last being more than half the length of the entire piece. A quality of patience and quiet accumulates over the course of the four movements. 

This week, we feature two new performances of Eternal Garden as well as a video designed by The David Maslanka Foundation to be shown before a performance of this music.

Eternal Garden

From David’s Program Note:

It is my task as a composer not to presume from the start that I know what the music is supposed to be; my job is to listen, and to follow the impulse that comes through me as faithful as I can. What came out in this case are four deeply meditative “songs.” After some reflection I can say that this music is about the need to stop and simply to be; to stop thinking, stop planning, stop worrying, stop presuming to know how we are supposed to act in the world. Life as we are doing it on this planet has begun to look suicidal. There has to be a different path.

I was given images of widespread suffering and destruction. This music is about the transformation of suffering. I have no illusion that a single piece of mine will end world suffering, but it opens the possibility of real peace in me as an individual. There is not a path to world peace; peace is the path, and it begins inside each person.

Below is a video designed by The David Maslanka Foundation to be shown before a performance of the work. The text is drawn from an interview conducted August 31, 2011 in Missoula, Montana by Kimberly Wester, DMA, and is included in her dissertation. The video is narrated by David’s son, Matthew Maslanka.

More info 

Watch below as David Gresham (Clarinet) and Shu Li (Piano) give a marvelous performance of the entirety of this work.

More info 

Watch below as Beat Rosenast (Clarinet) and Elise Monney (Piano) give a lovely performance of Movement III, “Elegy: August 6, 1945.”

More info 

For more information on Eternal Garden, please visit Eternal Garden @

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