Duo for Flute and Piano

Duo for Flute and Piano2017-03-08T20:48:40+00:00

Project Description

Flute and Piano
1972
20 min.

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Kimberly McCoul Risinger, Flute, Alison Brewster-Franzetti, Piano
On the album Sonata Fantasy

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Preview Score

Movements

  1. A mystery
  2. An interlude
  3. A sore point, or a touchy question, or the unanswered question put yet another way
  4. A mystery
  5. A fanfare
  6. A mystery

Description

The Duo is in six episodes, played continuously. The episodes are entitled:

A mystery
An interlude
A sore point, or a touchy question, or the unanswered question put yet
another way
A mystery
A fanfare
A mystery

The opening and closing “mysteries” are coloristic/impressionistic in character. The “interlude” for piano solo reflects my interest in the melody-spinning capacity of J.S.Bach in a piece such as the middle movement of the Italian Concerto, although this “interlude” is quite modern. The core of the piece is “a sore point…” This movement is an extended technical “monsterpiece” for both players. The following quiet mystery is deeply reflective , and the brief “fanfare” introduces the final episode.

Program Note

“I consider my Duo for Flute and Piano (written in 1972) to be something of a milestone in my composing. It emerged fully formed from a part of me with which I wasn’t at the time very familiar. It whispered, it cried, it shrieked, when on the surface I had no idea that I was doing any of those things. As has been the case for more than thirty years of composing, my music consistently reveals things to me in advance of their arrival in conscious mind. If the Duo revealed pain and depression, it also revealed a search into mystery, a love of the beautiful, and a penchant for formal construction and precision of detail- all issues which have occupied me in the intervening years, issues which have been the premise of a composer’s life.

“The Duo is in six sections with a coda. Three of these sections bear the heading ‘a mystery,’ referring in whatever way to the great mysteries of the universe and of life. Following the opening ‘mystery’ is an ‘interlude’ for piano solo. The right hand spins an elaborately decorated melody over a sparse accompaniment in the left hand. This ’spinning out’ has its roots mainly in the keyboard music of J. S. Bach. The title of the next section, ‘a sore point; or: a touchy question; or: the unanswered question put another way,’ owes a nod to Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question.

This music is obsessive, insistent, and clangorous. It goes farther than the listener is comfortable in going, but in so doing, breaks the bonds of anger. The harmonic language is tonal but extremely dissonant. The second ‘mystery’ is a quiet soliloquy for flute with a very sparse backdrop of piano chords. The sound of the Japanese shakuhachi flute is an important influence on this music. A clear C tonality is evident. A ‘fanfare’ of some length leads into the third ‘mystery,’ which is a distant music, having the quality of a candle flame, that is, placid on the surface, yet filled with an inner life. It fades into the coda, which refers to material from the ‘fanfare’ and the ‘interlude.’ There is a gasping, choked quality in the flute, and a dead finality in the piano. The piece ends in a grey and lonely stalemate.”

Program note by David Maslanka

Further Reading

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 84, More Amazing Saxophone Performances

28 January 2020|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three amazing performances of some of David’s best saxophone music: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, "Very Fast" from Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, and "Finale" from Mountain Roads.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 75, New Performances of Chamber Music

26 November 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of chamber works (or works written with chamber music contained therein): Quintet for Winds No. 4, "Inward" from Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, and David’s transcription of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for Saxophone Quartet.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 74, Time

19 November 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s works that contemplate the enigma of time: “At This Time” from Songs for the Coming Day, Symphony No. 10: The River of Time, and "A Song for the End of Time" from Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 71, Slow Movements

29 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions (of which there are literally dozens to choose from) that highlight some of his most beautiful writing in slower tempi: "Movement I" from Recitation Book, "Slow" from Symphony No. 7, and "Slow" from Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 70, Evening

22 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions that traverse the evening landscape: "Evening Song" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba, Evening Song for Horn and Piano, and "Our Prayer of Thanks" from A Carl Sandburg Reader.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 68, More New Performances of Saxophone Music

8 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of some of David’s best saxophone music: Songs for the Coming DayConcerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, and David's transcription of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations for Saxophone Quartet.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 59, Music For David

5 August 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three works by composers who have dedicated music to David and his memory: "After Maslanka" from Tribute Trio by Russell Peterson, Funeral Song for David Maslanka by Andrew Bockman, and Montis - Tribute to David Maslanka by Elliott Sorenson.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 57, Morning

22 July 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David's works that celebrate or look to the joy of morning: "When I cannot love I wait for morning" from Songs for the Coming Day, On This Bright Morning, and Morning Star.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 56, New Performances of Saxophone Quartet Music

15 July 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of saxophone quartet music: "Fanfare/Variations on Durch Adams Fall” from Recitation Book, "Inwardly" and "Dramatic" from Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, and "The soul is here for its own joy" from Songs for the Coming Day.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 55, Alison

8 July 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week we celebrate the life of Alison Matthews by featuring three of David's works that have a movement dedicated to her: "Alison" from Symphony No. 10, "Song for Alison" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba, and "For Pretty Alison" from My Lady White.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 51, Peace

10 June 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature performances of three of David’s works inspired specifically to help us as listeners and performers around the world create peace in our communities: Peace, Angel of Mercy, and Hymn for World Peace.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 44, Songs Without Words

23 April 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three beautiful examples of David's "Songs Without Words," of which there are literally dozens to choose from: "Awakening" from Songs for the Coming Day, Evening Song, and "Lost" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 39, Dreams & Meditations

18 March 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three compositions that specifically mention "dreaming" or "meditation" in their title: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Movement I, Sea Dreams: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble, Movement III, and Recitation Book, Movement I, "Broken Heart: Meditation on the chorale melody Der du bist drei in einigkeit."

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 [...]

Thoughts on Composing

6 April 1998|0 Comments

Excerpts from letters to young composers You ask about the soul nature of music, and are music and soul the same thing. Music is one of the expressions of soul. A person does not have [...]

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 [...]

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