Blue Mountain Meadow, Missoula, Montana

Blue Mountain Meadow, Missoula, Montana2017-03-08T19:46:41+00:00

Project Description

Sextet for Woodwind Quintet and Piano
10 min.

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Fl Ob BbCl Bsn Hn Pno

Commissioned by

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., Leonard Slatkin, Music Director, in honor of the 1996 American Residency Program in Montana/Wyoming


John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts, Washington D.C.


Blue Mountain Meadow was commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra, and given its premiere performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC by members of the NSO.

Blue Mountain is my favorite nature-walk place in the Missoula, Montana area where I live. It is noted for is wonderful views and its sense of calm serenity. Underneath the quiet of a sweeping meadow I began to imagine the engine of life that was at work. The result is a vigorous and challenging single-movement piece for one of my favorite instrumental combinations.

Program Note

Blue Mountain is a place I go to frequently to walk, sometimes with my dogs, sometimes alone, sometimes just to walk briskly, sometimes to meditate while walking.

Blue Mountain meadow offers views of the Mission, Sapphire and Rattlesnake mountain ranges as well as the town of Missoula laid out in the valley below. It is a place where clouds and the sky feel really close. In summer, meadow grasses are a sea of subtle greens and browns dotted with subalpine flowers and shrubs. Ponderosa pine, white pine and larch climb the mountainside. In winter, the meadow is covered in deep drifts of snow. There are deer, foxes, coyotes, other small animals, and a variety of songbirds. Bears and cougars live in the mountain wilderness beyond the meadow.

“Blue Mountain Meadow, Missoula, Montana” is a music that reflects the complex and humming life force of this nature place that I love. The music is brisk, vibrant and insistent. It is not a description of the meadow, but a meditative reaching into the power of all the things that live there, and the power of the place itself. I have chosen wind quintet and piano because of their sharp-edged qualities and their distinc-tive and beautiful colors.

This work was commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C., Leonard Slatkin, Music Director, in honor of the 1996 American Residency Program in Montana/Wyoming.

Program note by David Maslanka

Further Reading

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 7, Tribute

6 August 2018|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we remember the life of David Maslanka and Alison Matthews with unforgettable performances of Symphony No. 4, "Song for Alison" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba, and Symphony No. 10: The River of Time.

Music in Life

18 April 2002|0 Comments

Remarks given on 18 April 2002 at Indiana University School of Music before a performance of the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble. Other works on the concert included Montana Music: Chorale Variations and [...]

Music and Healing

7 April 1999|0 Comments

Remarks given before a performance of Montana Music: Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano. Music is specifically healing. I know that I am alive today, and essentially well, because of it. Healing through music is [...]

The roots and purpose of music

15 November 1992|0 Comments

Remarks given at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Nov.15.1992, before a performance of Symphony No.3. I want to give a few thoughts on the roots of music and its purpose in human life. Music comes supposedly [...]