Author Topic: The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)  (Read 1593 times)

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snyprrr

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The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)
« on: January 27, 2017, 01:19:41 PM »
David Maslanka

Odds are that you've heard the name, or have him somewhere on an 'American' various artists recital. Maybe you think he belongs to the endless list of "born around the 40s" Composers and just lump the name in with the likes of Surstrome or Kinipski (more like Jan Bach or Dan Welcher). When I saw his name on a wind disc I just got, I totally ignored the work as if it were going to be a trifle.

So, today I got around to the wind piece 'In Memoriam...', which turned out to be 13 minutes of sheer sonic coolness. It was monolithic and powerful and tonal- sounding perhaps like a kinder variation of Copland's 'Connotations'- stentorian yet with an almost Nordic funeral dirge at its heart. I was mightily impressed with the power, and the masterly use of winds and percussion, and also with the sensibility and the imagination.

So, upon looking, one sees that Maslanka is, overwhelmingly, a Wind Composer rivaling Persichetti, and perhaps his heir to the King of American Wind Composers. Husa's Wind Music is just a part of his output, but with Maslanka it is most all that I can tell. He even has 9 Symphonies, all for wind orchestra.


So, all I've heard is this 'In Memorian...', but, I'm quite curious to know what are his standout works? There seems to be the most talk around his Symphony No.4, which I guess is some massive crescendo. Surely someone here will be glad their hero now has a Thread, and will regale us of their conquests?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 08:23:13 AM by snyprrr »

Offline Ken B

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 05:51:26 PM »
A couple years ago I discovered him and especially his symphony 8. I made my gf get it as a present for her father, who played in bands all his life. He loved it. The quintets are fine too, with one having a wonderful slow movement.
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Offline lescamil

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 10:24:44 PM »
I was a pianist in a wind ensemble, and much Maslanka was played. The piece I had the most fun playing and listening to, though, was A Child's Garden of Dreams. The piano part was well written with plenty of extended techniques adding to the colorful orchestration, especially in the middle movements. Maslanka's work is of uneven quality, in my opinion, but this work is a hit.
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snyprrr

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2017, 08:16:11 AM »
A Child's Garden of Dream

That was mentioned a few times in reviews as a Big Hit! Yea, I'd like to hear a few more things... has no one any discs?...

Offline arpeggio

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 04:16:53 PM »
I have posted this in another forum.

I have recordings of thirty-two of his works in my library, including all of his symphonies except the first (there are no recordings of it available).

There is great You Tube of the US Navy Band Performing his Fourth Symphony. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2xcMoQ6ML4

There are many great performances of his works on YouTube.

There is one recording of his that I would avoid.  That is the recording of his mass: http://www.albanyrecords.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Session_ID=003b92f6893a0959eae6d99289e45093&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=TROY221-22&Store_Code=AR&search=maslanka&offset=&filter_cat=&PowerSearch_Begin_Only=&sort=&range_low=&range_high=

This may be a great work but I can not tell.  The performance by the chorus is very poor.

Offline lescamil

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2017, 03:37:14 PM »
That was mentioned a few times in reviews as a Big Hit! Yea, I'd like to hear a few more things... has no one any discs?...

There is a recording with the Dallas Wind Symphony that is ultra clean, if you like a spotless reading. However, if you want something a bit rougher around the edges and in your face, try the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Wind Ensemble. Both come with a symphony as a coupling.


A brief note: A Child's Garden of Dreams has two books. The first one is for wind ensemble, and the second one is for orchestra. The first book has lots of recordings and is the one I have been speaking of this whole time. The second book is only available as a recording through the composer's SoundCloud. I haven't heard it yet.

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Offline Scion7

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 08:24:17 PM »
David Maslanka

Odds are that you've heard the name

To quote American slang, "nope."
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 10:36:06 AM »
David Maslanka has died of colon cancer complications.

Offline Cato

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 10:52:52 AM »
David Maslanka has died of colon cancer complications.

From his website: very melancholy that his wife died last month!

http://davidmaslanka.com/
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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 11:20:32 AM »
David Maslanka has died of colon cancer complications.

Too bad. I only discovered his music two or so years ago. My father in law had heard of him! He's big into bands. Thanks for the notice.
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snyprrr

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Re: The Big Wind of Maslanka
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 08:21:41 AM »
I was a pianist in a wind ensemble, and much Maslanka was played. The piece I had the most fun playing and listening to, though, was A Child's Garden of Dreams. The piano part was well written with plenty of extended techniques adding to the colorful orchestration, especially in the middle movements. Maslanka's work is of uneven quality, in my opinion, but this work is a hit.

So, is this his best calling card still?

The Symphonies all seemed a bit long to me...

Offline arpeggio

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Re: The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2017, 09:05:00 PM »
 :(

I participate in several classical music forums.  This is the only one that acknowledged the passing of this outstanding composer.

snyprrr

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Re: The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2017, 07:04:21 AM »
:(

I participate in several classical music forums.  This is the only one that acknowledged the passing of this outstanding composer.

Ahhh, and more to the point: yours truly is the only one who cared, lol!! Times are getting tough,... but, I think people have Husa more on their DeadPool radar. Maslanka, though, is one of those specific American Wind Composers (I think Husa, Perle, Pinkham, many many other names,...) that has eked out a niche genre for themselves, somewhat guaranteeing their longevity. I think Maslanka's reputation in the Wind World is secure. ;)

That "childrens" thing seems very popular...

Offline Cato

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Re: The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 07:38:21 AM »
Ahhh, and more to the point: yours truly is the only one who cared, lol!! Times are getting tough,... but, I think people have Husa more on their DeadPool radar. Maslanka, though, is one of those specific American Wind Composers (I think Husa, Perle, Pinkham, many many other names,...) that has eked out a niche genre for themselves, somewhat guaranteeing their longevity. I think Maslanka's reputation in the Wind World is secure. ;)

That "childrens" thing seems very popular...


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Re: The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2017, 07:41:43 AM »
All I can say is ‘meh’ for Maslanka. :-\
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Re: The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2018, 08:26:49 PM »
Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Winds https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kYr84cPjaq4

First listen.
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Re: The Windy World of Maslanka (1943-2017)
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2018, 02:35:27 AM »
All I can say is ‘meh’ for Maslanka. :-\

I find Maslanka's music interesting. Effective and surprising.  0:)
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