Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.
Easily one of his most performed works since its premiere in 2006, Give Us This Day has gone on to make David’s music accessible to ensembles and audiences throughout the world. For many younger individuals, Give Us This Day has served as an introduction to David’s immense musical catalog. It has touched a generation of rising musicians and continues to dazzle people of all backgrounds and cultures in the concert hall. Just how far-reaching is Give Us This Day? A quick search across the internet reveals that there are streams of performances recorded from virtually every major country of the world with a wind ensemble.
This week, we showcase three new performances of Give Us This Day from high school bands.
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 chorale melody “Vater Unser in Himmelreich” (Our Father in Heaven) – No. 110 from the 371 four-part chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Watch below as the 2020 ILMEA All State Honors Band gives an electrifying performance of Movement II.
Watch below as the PMEA Region 1 State Band gives a magnificent performance of the entirety of this work.
Watch below as Brent Mounger leads the New World School of the Arts High School Wind Ensemble in a terrific performance of this music.
For more information on Give Us This Day, please visit Give Us This Day @ davidmaslanka.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.