Tuesday, October 27, 2015

David Maslanka, Symphony No. 7 - Samuel Zyman, Cycles - Matthew Halper, Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble - Illinois State University Wind Symphony "World Premieres of Commissioned Works" Albany Records 2006

The American composer David Maslanka (born August 30th, 1943) is yet another musical unsung-hero and a great one at that. I discovered his music back in 1997 when I bought a disc, also on Albany Records, called "When Angels Speak" with the Manhattan Wind Quintet. The disc features music by three other composers, but it was Maslanka's "Quintet No. 2 for Winds" that made an immediate and lasting impression. I immediately moved on to the fantastic series, yet again on Albany (as with Arnold Rosner, Albany has been Maslanka's strongest champion) of Maslanka's beautiful and powerful Wind Symphonies, of which there are eight currently. The Symphony No. 1 is for orchestra, and if I'm correct it is still unrecorded. -I would love to be incorrect; if anyone knows of, or better yet has any recorded performance of it, do let me know!! 

Maslanka's Symphony No. 7 is a big-boned, exciting work (and it may surprise with it's piano introduction-no, you have not been dropped in the middle of a Rachmaninov piece, I assure you! The piano continues to play an important role in the first two movements). Truly this symphony is an absolute knockout in my opinion, start to finish. The use of percussion too is magical, and in the final movement quite mysteriously so: the usage of bells and xylophone in the tranquil first half of the movement reminds me of Hovhaness (particularly AH's "Star Dawn", which is indeed a symphony for winds as well) and it's a most ethereal, almost zen-like "break" that the composer allows us, after the wonderfully kinetic sonic beating we experience in the prior movement (Mvt 3 - "Very Fast") This, ladies and gentlemen, is fantastic music-making.

David Maslanka

Here's a brief bio on Maslanka taken from his own site:

David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. He attended the Oberlin College Conservatory where he studied composition with Joseph Wood. He spent a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and did masters and doctoral study in composition at Michigan State University where his principal teacher was H. Owen Reed.

Maslanka’s music for winds has become especially well known. Among his more than 130 works are forty pieces for wind ensemble, including seven symphonies, fifteen concertos, a Mass, and many concert pieces. His chamber music includes four wind quintets, five saxophone quartets, and many works for solo instrument and piano. In addition, he has written a variety of orchestral and choral pieces.

David Maslanka’s compositions are published by Maslanka Press, Carl Fischer, Kjos Music, Marimba Productions, and OU Percussion Press. They have been recorded on Albany, Reference Recordings, BIS (Sweden), Naxos, Cambria, CRI, Mark, Novisse, AUR, Cafua (Japan), Brain Music (Japan), Barking Dog, and Klavier labels. He has served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Geneseo, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York, and since 1990 has been a freelance composer. He now lives in Missoula, Montana. David Maslanka is a member of ASCAP. 


Samuel Zyman's "Cycles" and Matthew Halper's Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble were both nice surprises, making this disc an all-around gem. My arm is telling me to stop typing (for those of you perhaps visiting for the first time, I'm not crazy -well, the diagnosis remains unclear- anyhow I do not hold conversations with my limbs - rather, I have an injury and cannot use my left arm/hand for too long) unfortunately, but I'm including booklet notes. Strangely all info on Maslanka and his Symphony No. 7 are missing here, I didn't make this poorly scanned file. I will type out the missing notes myself when I can..

Enjoy everyone!




Tzadik said...

I forgot to include the pdf in the upload, so if you want it here it is:



Marcelo Lasta said...

Suuuuuuuuuuuuper Maslanka,mi preferido composer USA actual con W.Bolcom¿alguna Synphonia más como la nr.8 o la 9 de esos autores magníficos,querido Tzadik? Poseo la NR.3 de Maslanka,maravillosa e introspectiva sinfonía,CD NAXUS,el resto lo conozco por la actividad-muy fértil- en you tube de bandas sinfónicas juveniles de excelente calidad(ojalá así fuera por todo mio extenso país),gracias amigo Tzadik,y que estes bien de tu dolencia,un abrazo más allá de lo digital!!!!!!! Tapirman.

cjvinthechair said...

Maslanka - hard to beat; actually have recordings or downloads of the symphonies except 1 & 6, but will enjoy this for the other 2 pieces anyway...definite fan of Zyman's concerti, so put on his 2nd flute concerto while writing.
Some good music recorded by this Illinois Uni. band, much on You Tube.
Ah, glad you're a little better - my MRI is to rule out anything else nasty besides an ear problem, which it may just be. Doesn't stop me listening to lovely music, though.
4th decade...yes, think I remember that, possibly !

friscom said...

for those interested to know more about Maslanka's seventh symphony, there may be an interesting analysis here:

mind the PDF is 220 pages long!

Marcelo Lasta said...

Gracias Friscom,lo veré,aunque mi preferida es la colosal y sublime octava Symphony(de hecho es la más grabada y vista,en definitiva los núneros siempre triunfan en el totipotencial you tube),gracias amigo.Por cierto,querido Tzadik,bajé 2 veces el HornConcerto de Peter Schickele y no puedo oirlo,si,del mismo cd la Sinfonia 8 y el Homenaje-molto cheerful-a Haydn,pero por desgracia,el opus de Peter no puedo escucharlo,si puedes repararlo,todo ok,sino,otra oportunidad.Gracias.Tapirman.

Karyttus said...

Olá caro amigo, quero agradecer poder baixar este Cd de David Maslanka. Muito obrigado, desde BRASIL.

Tzadik said...

Hola doctor T mi gran amigo, espero que el fin de semana está comenzando bien para usted. No sabía Maslanka fue uno de sus compositores americanos favoritos! Y Bolcom demasiado eh? Su gusto por la música es tal vez tan buena como la mía;-) no tengo el disco de Naxos de Maslanka tercera sinfonía, aunque deseo que hice. -Maestro T, me estás pidiendo que publicar Bolcom para usted? Creo que también se preguntaba si podía publicar compositores similar a Maslanka ... eso se puede hacer! Así que usted es un fan de la música de Ned Rorem? Sólo me preguntaba, sin conexión real con Maslanka. Sé bien mi igual en la recogida y el conocimiento clásico,

su TZ

Tzadik said...

Cjv, do you have a 2-cd set of Maslanka also on Albany? It contains symphonies and other works. Going to post it soon :) The Illinois Winds are superb I think, they make every recording a pleasure.

Tell me what your results are when you receive them-I am hoping that you have nothing more than a "dirty ear canal"!

C'mon you make it sound like your'e older than Moses, when clearly he's but your contemporary. Don't be hard on yourself. I can tell you my father just turned 71 last May and he looks as if he's perhaps 55. My whole family has been blessed with looking as if we've been doing "cannonballs" into the fountain of youth. :) If I shave my beard (rarely do) I am told I look 25-30 (!!) Still people always guess that I am younger.

With the stress I have had especially over the past few years, I should look 90 at least. Or dead..yet tastefully preserved.


Tzadik said...

Olá Karyttus, obrigado por comentar e você é muito bem-vindo! Com o tempo se tornando nítido com frio Sou apenas mais ciúmes de qualquer sorte de estar vivendo no Brasil. Tal beleza! Voltar e dizer Olá a qualquer momento o meu amigo :)


Tzadik said...

Marcello, el Schickele Concierto para trompa no jugará para usted? ¿Ha intentado reproducir los archivos en más de un jugador? (VLC, WMedia, iTunes, etc.) Avísame, Me encantaría volver a la Schickele para usted, puede hacer mp3 en cambio, no está seguro de cuál es el problema! Avisadme amigo,


Marcelo Lasta said...

Hola Tzadik,intenté varias veces y no abre el archivo,justo del opus de Peter,la Sinfonia y Homenaje a Haydn si,pero la obra para Horn,no puedo,ignoro la causa,no sé mucho de pc's,amo comprar los cd's en vivo y palpitando(tengo más de 4000 cd's originales) en las disquerías.Ahora es imposible en mí país,espero que con los cambios políticos soplen buenos aires sobre la capital del tango porteño...Ah,si,me encanta Bolcolm,Rorem,Diamond y sobretodo Hanson,todo un coloso de la Musik American.Si existe algún cd's de Sinfonias de Bolcolm,y lo puedes subir,genial,solo poseo del autor su 5ta Sinfonia y ViolinConcerto,un cd decca,y 3 naxus con su oratorio sobre W.Blake,una extraordinaria obra,sublime.Un Abrazo.Tu amigo de siempre,Tapirman.

Karyttus said...

Para Marcelo aqui segue o link para instalar o VLC: http://www83.zippyshare.com/v/VOk3auiy/file.html

Marcelo Lasta said...

Gracias,lo haré,Karyttus,un abrazo de Tapir!!

Anonymous said...

THANKS! Another lovely record!

I know Maslanka's music and have several CDs. For example this one - http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=BIS-CD-1228

which is MASLANKA: Wind Quintets Nos. 1-3

I listen to it from time to time. Wind music is something I turn to regularly. If you have any more contemporary wind music - don't hesitate to post! It will be appreciated!


Anonymous said...

Such a delicious, wonderful symphony,, that of Maslanka. Could you post the 8th symphony? Thankyouverymuch!

Ajnfah said...

This Maslanka post is a real dish! Looking forward to other cds by him! Much appreciated