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David Maslanka's "Desert Roads, Four Songs for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble": An analysis and performer's guide

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Joshua R Mietz
Abstract:
Known primarily as a composer for the wind band, few American composers have received the notoriety and widespread acclaim that David Maslanka has since 1970. His works for wind ensemble are now considered standard repertoire and are played frequently by high school, college-level, and professional ensembles alike. Additionally, his works for chamber groups and soloists have continued to gain in popularity. As of the writing of this document, Maslanka has composed concertos for saxophone, euphonium, flute, marimba, trombone, and piano. Early in 2005, he completed his first large-scale work for solo clarinet with wind ensemble accompaniment: Desert Roads . Desert Roads is comprised of four movements--each with a unique perspective and stylistic approach to the concerto medium. This document begins with a detailed biography of the composer's life and works. There is an emphasis on the people, places, and events that contributed to Dr. Maslanka's compositional style. Chapter 2 offers a history of Desert Roads and pays special attention to Dr. Margaret Dees and her leadership in the commissioning of the work. Chapters 3-6 provide analysis and discussion of the structural elements Desert Roads . Additionally, there is discussion of the chorales of J.S. Bach where appropriate. Chapters 3-6 also include graphic illustrations of each movement at the end of the chapter. Chapter 7 offers some concluding remarks and performance considerations for clarinetists, conductors, and scholars. In addition to the customary and required copyright and bibliographic documentation, the appendix of this doctoral document contains a reproduction of the Bach chorales employed within Desert Roads as well as the text from Richard Beale's On the Subway Platform . Furthermore, the appendix contains the transcription of interviews conducted by the author, and an annotated list of Maslanka's works for clarinet, giving scholars a context for which to better appreciate Desert Roads . This document is intended to provide readers with a clear, thorough understanding of Desert Roads and contribute to a greater understanding of the music of David Maslanka.

Table of Contents Acknowledgements............................................................................................................iv Table of Contents...............................................................................................................vi List of Tables ...................................................................................................................ix List of Examples.................................................................................................................x Chapter 1: Biography of David Maslanka........................................................................1 Chapter 2: History and Overview of Desert Roads..........................................................7 Synopsis of Desert Roads............................................................................10 Chapter 3: Movement 1—Desert Roads.........................................................................15 Large Section 1............................................................................................16 Large Section 2A.........................................................................................20 Large Section 2B.........................................................................................23 Large Section 3............................................................................................27 Chapter 4: Movement 2—Soliloquy, Not Knowing........................................................36 Section A 1a ...................................................................................................36 Section A 1b ...................................................................................................39 Section B a .....................................................................................................40 Section B b ....................................................................................................43 Section B c .....................................................................................................46 Section A 2 ....................................................................................................48 Section A 3 ....................................................................................................49 Chapter 5: Movement 3—Coming Home.......................................................................53 Section A 1 ....................................................................................................54

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Section B 1 ....................................................................................................59 Section C 1 ....................................................................................................61 Section B 2 ....................................................................................................62 Section A 2 ....................................................................................................65 Section B 3 ....................................................................................................66 Section C 2 ....................................................................................................66 Section A/C..................................................................................................68 Coda: Section D 1 .........................................................................................70 Section D 2 ....................................................................................................72 Chapter 6: Movement 4—Pray for Tender Voices in the Darkness...............................75 Section A......................................................................................................77 Section B......................................................................................................81 “Dreamy Section”........................................................................................84 Section A......................................................................................................86 “Amen”........................................................................................................86 Chapter 7: Conclusions...................................................................................................89 Appendix 1: Interview Transcriptions.............................................................................94 Dr. David Maslanka.....................................................................................94 Dr. Margaret Dees......................................................................................118 Appendix 2: Source Material.........................................................................................122 Jesus Christus, unser Heiland...................................................................122 Nun danket alle Gott..................................................................................125 On the Subway Platform…........................................................................127

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Appendix 3: Works Featuring Clarinet..........................................................................128 Appendix 4: Copyright Documentation.........................................................................142 Appendix 5: Bibliography.............................................................................................143 Appendix 6: Personal Biography...................................................................................145

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List of Tables TABLE 1: Movement I—Desert Roads Large Section 1................................................31 TABLE 2: Movement I—Desert Roads Large Section 2A.............................................32 TABLE 3: Movement I—Desert Roads Large Section 2B.............................................33 TABLE 4: Movement I—Desert Roads Large Section 2B (cont.)..................................34 TABLE 5: Movement I—Desert Roads Large Section 3................................................35 TABLE 6: Movement II—Soliloquy, Not Knowing........................................................52 TABLE 7: Movement III—Coming Home......................................................................74 TABLE 8: Movement IV—Pray for Tender Voices in the Darkness.............................88

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List of Examples Ex. 3.1: Soprano line from Jesus Christus, unser Heiland..............................................16 Ex. 3.2: Opening melodic material (mm. 1-3).................................................................17 Ex. 3.3: Conclusion of opening melodic material immediately preceding solo clarinet entry (mm. 10-16)..............................................................................................17 Ex. 3.4: Solo clarinet displaying a characteristic grace note figure (mm. 20-23)...........18 Ex. 3.5: Solo clarinet above eighth-note figure (mm. 23-28)..........................................19 Ex. 3.6: Open fifths created by solo, section, bass, and contralto clarinets (mm. 33-34) 20 Ex. 3.7: Soprano line from J.S. Bach’s Nun danket alle Gott.........................................20 Ex. 3.8: Wind ensemble introduction of Nun danket alle Gott (mm. 34-41).................22 Ex. 3.9: Solo clarinet illustrating E Mixolydian. Conclusion of Large Section 2A (mm. 49-52).......................................................................................................23 Ex. 3.10: Bassoon countermelody reinforcing E Mixolydian with the solo clarinet (mm. 45-46).......................................................................................................23 Ex. 3.11: First entrance of solo clarinet in Section 2B (mm. 59-63)...............................25 Ex. 3.12: Solo clarinet doubled by flute, trumpet challenging the solo clarinet above changing pedal (mm. 77-80)..............................................................................26 Ex. 3.13: Secondary sequential figure in piano (mm. 84-86)..........................................27 Ex. 3.14: Beginning of Large Section 3. Melody from saxophone section to solo clarinet (mm. 94-105).....................................................................................................28 Ex. 3.15: Solo clarinet descending line over harp arpeggio/dark-sounding chords over timpani pedal (mm. 108-110)...........................................................................29 Ex. 3.16: Harp arpeggios and conclusion of movement (mm 137-43)............................30

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Ex. 4.1: Opening cadenza/A 1a section of mvmt. II, including motor device (mm. 1-4)..37 Ex. 4.2: Opening cadenza condensed to a series of block chords (mm. 1-3)..................37 Ex. 4.3: Simplified arpeggio root motion (mm. 1-3).......................................................38 Ex. 4.4: Second and fourth notes from each group of five extracted to show melodic motion (mm. 1-3)...............................................................................................39 Ex. 4.7: Second statement of solo clarinet in mvmt. II against fortissimo chords in piano (mm. 7-12).........................................................................................................41 Ex. 4.8: Secondary use of motor device in mvmt II (mm. 14-17)...................................41 Ex. 4.9: Solo clarinet and accompaniment reconciliation through repeated eighth notes (mm 21-26)........................................................................................................43 Ex. 4.10: Solo clarinet doubled by flute 1, soprano saxophone, and trumpet 1 (mm. 23-25).......................................................................................................44 Ex. 4.11: Slurs illustrating conclusion of section against the conclusion of heroic melody (mm. 29-30).......................................................................................................45 Ex. 4.12: Conflict of C against D in oboes accompanied by an F C D E F progression in bass and timpani (mm. 24-28)...........................................................................46 Ex. 4.13: Conclusion of B section (mm. 29-30)..............................................................47 Ex. 4.14: Beginning of Section A 2 , solo clarinet doubled by piano right hand and accompanied by piano left hand and timpani (mm. 33-36)...............................49 Ex. 4.15: Concluding section of mvmt. II (mm. 41-48)..................................................50 Ex. 5.1: Opening measures of mvmt. III. Motor device of percussion and harp before solo clarinet entrance in m. 3 (mm. 1-4)............................................................55 Ex. 5.2: A-section theme, played by solo clarinet (mm 3-7)...........................................55

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Ex. 5.3: Solo clarinet accompanied by motor device in oboes, clarinets, alto saxophone, trumpet, and trombone (mm 4-8).......................................................................56 Ex. 5.4: C minor chords with added 9th played by piano and accompanied by egg shaker (mm. 9-11).........................................................................................................57 Ex. 5.5: Trumpet and trombone interjection accompanied by C minor chord in horn 1, 2, and soprano saxophone (mm. 18-20).................................................................58 Ex. 5.6: Heroic solo clarinet passage double by trumpet 1 and horn 1 (mm. 27-33).....59 Ex. 5.7: Solo clarinet playing the B-section theme and imitated by clarinet 1 in measure 38 and clarinets 1 and 2 in measure 41 (mm. 37-41).........................................59 Ex. 5.8: Ensemble doubling solo clarinet before conclusion of B 1 (mm. 45-46)............60 Ex. 5.9: B-section theme in flute 1 and upper saxophones (mm. 54-55).........................61 Ex. 5.10: Section C accompaniment motive as played by double bass, harp, vibraphone, and marimba (mm. 60-63).................................................................................61 Ex. 5.11: Solo clarinet, Section C 1 (mm. 62-71).............................................................62 Ex. 5.12: Imitation between piano/harp and solo clarinet (mm. 71-77)..........................63 Ex. 5.13: Soloist punctuated by ensemble (mm. 81-83)..................................................63 Ex. 5.14: Piccolo doubling solo clarinet with oboe counterpoint (mm. 87-91)..............64 Ex. 5.15: Rhythmic device passed between ensemble members. Opposing stems represent divided parts (mm. 95-98).................................................................65 Ex. 5.16: Transitional sixteenth-note triplet flourishes (mm. 118-119).........................66 Ex. 5.17: D 7 in marimba to solo C minor in solo clarinet (mm. 137-140).....................67 Ex. 5.18: Solo clarinet against section and bass clarinets (mm. 148-149)......................68

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Ex. 5.19: A-section solo clarinet melody against C-section accompaniment, played by marimba and double bass (mm. 166-171)........................................................68 Ex. 5.20: Solo clarinet ascending to B-flat over C-section accompaniment (mm. 185-90).....................................................................................................69 Ex. 5.21: Flute 1 relieving solo clarinet of melody. Note the quarter note figure shifting from piano to horn and trombone (mm. 228-235).............................................71 Ex. 5.22: Continuation of flute taking the melody from the solo clarinet (mm. 236-238)...................................................................................................72 Ex. 5.23: Final D 2 section of third movement; solo clarinet against piano (mm. 251-258)...................................................................................................73 Ex. 6.1: Piano playing Darkness theme (mm. 1-5)..........................................................77 Ex. 6.2: Solo clarinet against Darkness theme (mm. 1-5)...............................................78 Ex. 6.3: Solo clarinet doubled by horn and accompanied by bass clarinet, contrabass, tuba, and piano (mm. 9-10)................................................................................79 Ex. 6.4: Solo clarinet against field drum, accompanied by Darkness theme in piano (mm. 16-18).......................................................................................................80 Ex. 6.5: Solo clarinet accompanied by descending line of eighth notes that gradually become more detached (mm. 21-24).................................................................80 Ex. 6.6: Solo clarinet entrance over piano rolled chords (mm. 28-30)............................82 Ex. 6.7: Solo clarinet doubled at low points by section clarinets; harp glissando (mm. 34-35).......................................................................................................83 Ex. 6.8: Solo clarinet doubled by piccolo trumpet (mm. 36-38).....................................83 Ex. 6.9: “Dreamy.” Solo clarinet ad lib to flute/harp ad. lib. (mm. 50-51)....................85

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Ex. 6.10: Solo clarinet accompanied by ensemble (mm. 58-63).....................................85 Ex. 6.11: Conclusion of movement; piano playing I-IV-I chords; doubled by harp and contrabass (mm. 74-77).....................................................................................87

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Chapter 1: Biography of David Maslanka Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943, David Maslanka was drawn to the clarinet at an early age. His grandfather was a competent violinist but also played the clarinet. His father worked for Revere Copper and Brass, which was formerly located in Canton, Massachusetts. His mother, a classical music enthusiast, maintained a small collection of recordings, but had no formal training. Maslanka began his musical career as a clarinetist in the fourth grade, at age nine, and continued throughout high school. Though the public school program was not particularly rigorous, he qualified for the All State Band and participated in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony. During his senior year, he commuted sixty-five miles for weekly lessons with Robert Stuart, the applied clarinet instructor at the New England Conservatory of Music. He graduated from high school in 1961 and began studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he pursued a Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis in clarinet. Between 1963 and 1964, he studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. His first serious composition, Music for Clarinet and Piano, was written while abroad. He completed his undergraduate degree in 1964 but was not enthusiastic about beginning a career as a band director in the public schools. Instead, he opted to enroll in a combined master’s and doctoral degree program at Michigan State University. His primary teachers were: H. Owen Reed, composition; Paul Harder, theory; and Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, clarinet. To Maslanka, Reed was relatable and served as a strong mentor to him. Reed’s courses presented current trends and experimental techniques but

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were paradoxically grounded in historical perspective. This training stoked Maslanka’s appreciation for the music of J.S. Bach. 1

At Michigan State, he saw a glimmer of his true musical gift. Graduate school served to hone his craft and illuminate the possibilities of his talent. His final doctoral project was Symphony No. 1, a work he describes as a “scrap pile of musical ideas.” 2

Notable to this work was the use of two antiphonal ensembles, each with its own conductor. This technique limited the efficacy of this symphony and rendered it unplayable as such. The work was finished in 1970 and has yet to be performed, though pieces of it have been revised and used in other works. 3

After graduation, Maslanka attained a position at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo. He taught theory, composition, analytical techniques, and applied clarinet. 4 He stayed at that position through 1974 when he moved to New York City. His time at Geneseo yielded the following notable contributions to his oeuvre: Pray for Tender Voices in the Darkness for Harp and Piano (1974), Duo for Flute and Piano (1972), Trio No. 1 for violin, clarinet, and piano (1971), and No. 2 for viola, clarinet and piano (1973). Geneseo is very close to Rochester in proximity and Maslanka made contact with conductor Sidney Hodkinson, who was able to provide

1 Stephen Bolstad. David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4: A Conductor’s Analysis with Performance Considerations. Austin, Texas: 2002. 2. 2 Brenton Alston, “David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 3: A Relational Treatise on Commissioning, Composition, and Performance,” University of Miami: 2004. 12. 3 David Maslanka personal website. www.davidmakslana.com . Accessed 10 March 2011. 4 Alston 3.

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access to the Eastman School of Music ensemble Musica Nova. This association resulted in the premiere of the Duo for Flute and Piano. 5 SUNY-Geneseo also yielded a close working relationship with Richard Beale, a professor of art and a poet. 6

Unfortunately, all was not well in idyllic upstate New York for David Maslanka. In August 1973, Maslanka wrote a letter to the composer Michael Colgrass, an advocate of creativity in music and asked: “Why is it that you go on writing music? The answer, obviously, is that you love it, but as a composer among composers I feel myself to be a shrub in a forest of trees. My voice is lost and will stay lost except for an accident of fate.” 7 Colgrass replied that a composer should decide: If he is indeed a composer, regardless of what quality; how to arrange his life so that he may best serve his music as a composer during the better part of his daily hours of productivity; and which people best support him as a composer. 8 Clearly, Maslanka felt an inner need to work and support himself financially as a composer. Maslanka moved to New York City in 1974 and stayed until 1990. While residing there, Maslanka taught at both Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. In 1974, Maslanka wrote his first large-scale work for band: Concerto for Piano, Winds, and Percussion. 9 He wrote this piece out of sheer inspiration and

5 Bolstad. 4. 6 David Maslanka. E-mail correspondence with the author. 11 March, 2011. 7 Catch-22 for Composers: You need another job to support yourself. New York Times, August 18, 1974, sec AL, pg. 105. 8 Ibid. 9 This collaboration is discussed further in Chapter 2, pg. 7 and Appendix 1, pg. 111-112.

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approached Donald Hunsberger of the Eastman School of Music to request a performance. Hunsberger agreed and it was placed on the program of a February 1979 concert. As events unfolded, Hunsberger was granted a sabbatical leave that semester and Frederick Fennell was deemed his replacement. Maslanka and Fennell discussed the work thoroughly and the initial performance was a great success. 10 Shortly thereafter, John Paynter and the Northwestern University Wind Ensemble performed it with equal triumph. Paynter and his wife, Marietta, subsequently commissioned Maslanka to write another work: A Child’s Garden of Dreams, in 1981. 11 In the course of thirty years since its composition, A Child’s Garden of Dreams has not fallen out of favor with college- level wind ensembles. Maslanka says, “My composing process changed with this piece.” 12 He began exploring dreams, the writings of Carl Jung, and a technique called “active imagining.” 13

Following a divorce from his first wife Suzanne and several years of being in what he calls “a dark place,” Maslanka met and married his second wife, Allison. 14 In 1990, the two felt a strong need to leave the densely populated metropolis of New York City for a more open environment. He and Allison discussed possible locations. She, with her love of horses, and he, with a need for the spacious majesty of the Rocky

10 Maslanka. Personal Interview. 30 December 2009. See pg 111. 11 Bolstad. 5. 12 Bolstad 17. 13 Jung, Carl. Joan Chodorow. Jung on Active Imagination. University Press: Princeton, NJ, 1997. 14 Lauren Denny Wright. A Conductor’s Insight Into Performance and Interpretive Issues in Give Us This Day by David Maslanka. Coral Gables, Florida: 2010. 10.

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Mountains, agreed on Missoula, Montana. 15 This became home, in the fullest sense of the word, and where he composed many of his most beloved and large-scale works. Of his Symphony No. 3 (1991), he writes: “The impetus for this piece was in part my leaving university life and moving from New York City to the Rocky Mountains of western Montana… Animal and Indian spirits still echo strongly in this land, and these elements have found their way into my music.” 16

Maslanka and his family moved to an acre of land on the outskirts of Missoula where she trains horses and he composes in relative solitude. He lives in a modest home and composes in a barn that Gary Green, Director of Bands at the University of Miami, Florida describes as something “the rest of us would tear down because we could build something that would be nicer.” 17 This space proves him the freedom to write and explore his musical ideas. He also partakes in walks with his dogs in Missoula’s abundant open spaces, including at the Blue Mountain Recreation Area. 18 For Maslanka, these walks are meditative and ideas generated during this time often permeate his music. With the exception of a few private composition students, Maslanka does little teaching. He does, however, work with students at clinics and the premieres of his music. He acknowledges this an important part of the compositional process. Since 1980, he has been a guest composer at over 100 universities, music festivals, and

15 Ibid. 11. 16 http://www.miami.edu/index.php/news/releases/naxos_wind_band_classics_series_spotlights_reflections

featuring_the_frost_wind_ensemble/. Accessed 11 March 2011. 17 Wright. 15. 18 http://www.davidmaslanka.com/about/ . Accessed 11 March, 2011.

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conferences. 19 He composes at his home almost daily and has won many awards, including annual ASCAP awards, the MacDowell Colony Residence award on five separate occasions, the National Endowment for the Arts Composer Fellowship in 1974, 1975, and 1989, and he has been honored on Meet the Composer programs numerous times. He first appeared in The Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians in 1985. 20

To date, Maslanka has composed thirteen works featuring clarinet. Program notes reproduced from Maslanka’s personal website are listed in Appendix 2. These are included to provide readers with an overview of Maslanka’s output for clarinet and contribute to a deeper understanding of his writing for clarinet.

19 Ibid. 20 Bolstad. 6.

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Chapter 2: History and Overview of Desert Roads As discussed in Chapter 1, Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble premiered Maslanka’s first concerto in 1979 (Concerto for Piano and Winds). 21 With Fennell’s death, late in 2004, this happy collaboration weighed on Maslanka’s mind. He said, “When I was composing this piece (Desert Roads), I had a small vision of Frederick Fennell… he said in essence, ‘remember me.’” 22 This remembrance manifested into the inspiration for the third movement of Desert Roads, which Maslanka titled Coming Home. While the idea of a concerto for clarinet was certainly ever-present in David Maslanka’s mind, the driving force behind this work was Margaret Dees. Dees was first introduced to the music of David Maslanka during the spring of 1987 when she was visiting Northwestern University and auditioned for graduate study with Robert Marcellus. Coincidentally, the College Band Directors National Association was also holding their annual conference there and Dees was astounded when she heard the premiere of Maslanka’s Symphony No. 2. Two other major proponents of Maslanka’s music were also present at that concert: Stephen Steele, who is currently the Director of Bands at Illinois State University, and Jerry Junkin, who is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dallas Wind Symphony as well as the Director of Bands at the

21 See Chapter 1, pg. 3-4 22 Maslanka. Personal Interview. 30 December 2009. See pg. 112.

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University of Texas at Austin. Both conductors have worked in close conjunction with Maslanka and recorded the majority of his larger works for wind ensemble. In conjunction with the completion of a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, Dees obtained a one-year position at Illinois State University (2002-03). During this time, Steele and the University Wind Symphony recorded Maslanka’s Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble. Maslanka was present during this process and after one of the rehearsals Dees asked: “Have you ever thought about writing a concerto for clarinet?” He replied, “Well, no one has asked.” To which she answered, “I’m asking.” After discussing this with Steele, a consortium was formed. 23 The consortium included: Steele, Junkin, Patrick Dunnigan (Florida State University), John Whitwell (Michigan State University), Gregg Hanson and Jerry Kirkbride (University of Arizona), Timothy Mahr (St. Olaf College), Mark Scatterday (Eastman School of Music), Ray E. Cramer (Indiana University), Allan McMurray (University of Colorado), John Carmichael (Western Kentucky University), John Patrick Rooney (James Madison University), Lynn Musco and Bobby Adams (Stetson University), Frank Wickes (Louisiana State University), Frank Tracz (Kansas State University), John Culvahouse (University of Georgia), John Weigand (West Virginia University), Cody Birdwell and Scott Wright (University of Kentucky), John Lynch (University of Kansas), David Waybright (University of Florida), and Maxine Ramey (University of Montana). Dees also maintains strong a connection with Junkin. She first met him in 1985 at the University of South Florida’s Festival of Winds, an event for outstanding high school students. After graduation, Dees attended the University of Texas at Austin for two years

23 Dees, Margaret. Personal Interview, March 2011. See pg. 118.

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and fostered this connection by being a member of the Wind Ensemble. As Desert Roads was about a year from completion (February 18, 2004), she discussed a premiere with Junkin. According to Dees, she “knocked on his door and said ‘do you have a minute’ and he laughed, replying ‘actually I don’t.’” In return, she replied, “Ok, a few seconds?” As he was making final preparations before leaving for a conducting engagement, he consented to “a few seconds.” She asked if he would like to conduct the premiere of Desert Roads with the Dallas Wind Symphony and he “turned to his computer, pulled something up and said ‘When do you want to do it.’” The two called Maslanka and set the date. 24

Desert Roads premiered on April 12, 2005 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX with Dees as the soloist. Junkin programmed the concert and titled it “Fabulous Firsts.” The program was: Star Spangled Banner, Gustav Holst’s First Suite in E-flat, Desert Roads, California Suite by John Gibson, Symphony No. 1, and Commando March by Samuel Barber. Maslanka describes the rehearsal process prior to this concert as being somewhat rushed. They were permitted four rehearsals and after hearing the second rehearsal, Maslanka was not happy with the situation. In the rehearsals, “(Junkin) didn’t want to hear any of the niceties, any details; just get the damn thing done. Get it on its feet so it worked,” said Maslanka. The day of the concert, the ensemble played through most of the piece as a warm-up before the concert. Fortunately, the concert came together very well. Maslanka said, “The performance came forward and was really very, very sweet, very nice. It had knowledge in it. But that’s the kind of

24 Maslanka, David. Personal Interview. 30 December 2009. See pg. 94

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hairy edge you have to deal with in those situations.” 25 Upon listening to an archival recording of the performance, one can hear the thoughtfulness and a great deal of nuance in Dees’ performance. This was a remarkable performance of Desert Roads. Since the premiere, performances include those at Florida State University with Dees playing solo clarinet in December 2005, and another in April 2007 at the University of Montana with Maxine Ramey playing solo clarinet, conducted by Stephen Bolstad. In February of 2008, the Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble under the direction of Timothy W. Oliver performed it with Ken Hatch playing solo clarinet. 26 David Gresham recorded the work later in 2008 with Stephen Steele and the Illinois State University Wind Ensemble as well as performed it at the 2009 International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest® in Porto, Portugal. 27 Other performances include the Kansas State University Wind Ensemble with Franc Tracz conducting and Tod Kersetter playing solo clarinet and the University of Georgia with John Culvahouse conducting and D. Ray McClellan playing solo clarinet. Synopsis of Desert Roads Desert Roads exists as a concerto for clarinet and wind ensemble in four movements. The instrumentation is somewhat light in wind band terms and includes: 2 flutes (the second of which doubles on piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, contra

25 Ibid. See pg. 108. 26 College Band Directors National Association Spring 2008 Report, pg. 7. http://www.cbdna.org/pdf/Report2008sp.pdf#page=7

27 Ellsworth, Jane and Mary Kantor. “Highlights of ClarinetFest® 2009.” The Clarinet. December 2009. Vol. 37, No. 1. 63.

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alto clarinet, 2 bassoons, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 2 horns, 2 trumpets (the first of which doubles on piccolo trumpet), 2 trombones, euphonium, tuba, double bass, harp, piano, timpani, and five percussion parts. Maslanka’s writing for percussion in Desert Roads is extensive and includes the following instruments: vibraphone, wooden wind chimes, xylophone, marimba, wood blocks, temple blocks, orchestra bells, cabasa, egg shaker, crotales, large and small suspended cymbal, tam tam, sleigh bells, high and medium tom toms, field drum, bass drum, and metal wind chimes. When contemplating writing this work, through a process Carl Jung describes as Active Imagining, Maslanka says he asked his unconscious to be shown something important about this concerto. After requesting this guidance, he “received… transportation… to a desert and (he) proceeded to be Middle Eastern and proceeded to be old.” That is not to say that Desert Roads should be viewed as programmatic. Maslanka remarks, “If you strip off the titles, you have the music… there is no conscious attempt on my part to make an illustration.” 28 Maslanka views each movement and episode within the movements as individual dreams, each of which has a specific reason for being with the others. 29 “I think of all of this as episodes (and) not as developmental… My need as a composer is to find how a line runs through the whole composition,” he says. 30

Maslanka remarks that titles are difficult to discuss. The title Desert Roads, and the idea of roads in dreams parallels a work for saxophone quartet he composed in 1997.

28 Maslanka. Personal Interview. 30 December 2009. See pg. 99. 29 Ibid. See pg. 100. 30 Ibid. See pg. 102.

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“Mountain Roads came about because of a dream, and in that dream, I was in a high mountain country with a road crew building roads,” he says. 31 He goes on to say that the dream was of a beautiful mountain space. This idea moved him very deeply and he had another, similar vision leading to the composition of his Symphony No. 5. “A high mountain,” he continues, “and especially snow, in dreams, are asterisks of the divine. And to have that come forward was a strong suggestion that this was an important title and association, no matter what the music does.” 32

Full document contains 161 pages
Abstract: Known primarily as a composer for the wind band, few American composers have received the notoriety and widespread acclaim that David Maslanka has since 1970. His works for wind ensemble are now considered standard repertoire and are played frequently by high school, college-level, and professional ensembles alike. Additionally, his works for chamber groups and soloists have continued to gain in popularity. As of the writing of this document, Maslanka has composed concertos for saxophone, euphonium, flute, marimba, trombone, and piano. Early in 2005, he completed his first large-scale work for solo clarinet with wind ensemble accompaniment: Desert Roads . Desert Roads is comprised of four movements--each with a unique perspective and stylistic approach to the concerto medium. This document begins with a detailed biography of the composer's life and works. There is an emphasis on the people, places, and events that contributed to Dr. Maslanka's compositional style. Chapter 2 offers a history of Desert Roads and pays special attention to Dr. Margaret Dees and her leadership in the commissioning of the work. Chapters 3-6 provide analysis and discussion of the structural elements Desert Roads . Additionally, there is discussion of the chorales of J.S. Bach where appropriate. Chapters 3-6 also include graphic illustrations of each movement at the end of the chapter. Chapter 7 offers some concluding remarks and performance considerations for clarinetists, conductors, and scholars. In addition to the customary and required copyright and bibliographic documentation, the appendix of this doctoral document contains a reproduction of the Bach chorales employed within Desert Roads as well as the text from Richard Beale's On the Subway Platform . Furthermore, the appendix contains the transcription of interviews conducted by the author, and an annotated list of Maslanka's works for clarinet, giving scholars a context for which to better appreciate Desert Roads . This document is intended to provide readers with a clear, thorough understanding of Desert Roads and contribute to a greater understanding of the music of David Maslanka.