Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.
Gary Green is the former Director of Bands at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He taught conducting and served as the conductor of the Frost Wind Ensemble. He conducted the Frost Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, and had been invited on numerous occasions to conduct at the prestigious College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). He served for many years as the chair of the Frost School’s Department of Instrumental Performance.
Green began his career as Director of Bands at University High School in Spokane, Washington, one of the most widely respected band programs in the nation. He was then recruited to the University of Connecticut as conductor of the Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, and Marching Band, before moving to Miami.
Gary Green is a longtime champion of David’s music. While Director of Bands at the University of Miami Frost School of Music as well as the University of Connecticut, he performed nearly every major piece of David’s and commissioned & recorded several.
This week, we feature three of David’s compositions that Gary Green championed: Symphony No. 8, Symphony No. 4, and Symphony No. 3.
Symphony No. 8 – III. Moderate, Very Fast, Moderate, Very Fast
From David’s Program Note:
Symphony No. 8 is in three distinct movements, bur the musical layout suggests a single large-scale panoramic vista.
I began the composition process for this symphony with meditation, and was shown scenes of widespread devastation. But this music is not about the surface of our world problems. It is a response to a much deeper vital creative flow which is forcefully at work, and which will carry us through our age of crisis. This music is a celebration of life. It is about new life, continuity from the past to the future, great hope, great faith, joy, ecstatic vision, and fierce determination.
The old is continually present in the new. The first movement touches the “Gloria” from my Mass: “Glory to God in the highest,” whatever that may mean to you: the power of the universe made manifest to us and through us.
Watch below as Gary Green leads the Michigan State Wind Symphony in a thrilling performance of Movement III.
Symphony No. 4
From David’s Program Note:
The sources that give rise to a piece of music are many and deep. It is possible to describe the technical aspects of a work – its construction principles, its orchestration – but nearly impossible to write of its soul nature except through hints and suggestions.
The roots of Symphony No. 4 are many. The central driving force is the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life. I feel it is the powerful voice of the earth that comes to me from my adopted western Montana, and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho. My personal experience of the voice is one of being helpless and torn open by the power of the thing that wants to be expressed – the welling-up shout that cannot be denied. I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing. The response in the voice of the earth is the answering shout of thanksgiving, and the shout of praise.
Out of this, the hymn tune Old Hundred, several other hymn tunes (the Bach chorales Only Trust in God to Guide You and Christ Who Makes Us Holy), and original melodies which are hymn-like in nature, form the backbone of Symphony No. 4.