Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 88, New Performances of Recitation Book, Movement V

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

With fourteen compositions featuring the saxophone or saxophone quartet, David Maslanka was one of the foremost composers of classical saxophone music in our day. His saxophone pieces are well-known and performed around the world.

This week, we feature two new amazing performances of “Fanfare and Variations on ‘Durch Adams Fall'” from Recitation Book for Saxophone Quartet. We also feature a new video tutorial by Joey Resendez for altissimo fingering suggestions on the soprano saxophone.

Recitation Book

From David Program Note:

I have loved Italian madrigals since my student days. Recitation Book for saxophone quartet feels something like a madrigal collection, but with a grand finale. My approach to composing is vocal, and the singing quality of saxophones is one of their finest strengths. The movements in this piece are relatively brief and intimate songs.

Much of my recent music draws its inspiration from the distant past. An old melody pushes open a door in my mind and a parallel world or dream makes its way out. Each piece in this set found its inspiration in that way.

The title, “Recitation Book,” implies a set of lessons. I don’t want to say explicitly what each “lesson” means, but the titles of the pieces circle around the theme of death, which for me implies the passing of the old, and the coming of the new.

I have not only quoted a number of old melodies in Recitation Book, but two whole brief pieces as well. This first is J.S. Bach’s four-part chorale Jesu, meine Freude, and the second is an arrangement for the four saxophones of the five-voiced madrigal Ecco, morirò dunque by Gesualdo di Venosa.

Watch below as Project Fusion gives a marvelous performance of Movement V.

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Watch below as the Quid Nunc Saxophone Quartet gives another breathtaking performance of Movement V.

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Soprano Saxophonists: Do you ever struggle trying to find the right altissimo fingerings for Movement V? This video by Joey Resendez may help you.

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For more information on Recitation Book, please visit Recitation Book @

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 |2020-02-25T03:52:27+00:0025 February 2020|Chamber Music, Featured, Maslanka Weekly, Recitation Book|