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Liberation

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David Maslanka

David Maslanka


General Info

Year: 2010
Duration: c. 17:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Maslanka Press
Cost: Score and Parts - $220.00   |   Score Only - $80.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I
Flute II (doubles Alto Flute)
Flute III (doubles Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II (II doubles Contrabassoon)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crotales
  • Gong
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra Chimes
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Tom
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Chorus


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna, in die illa tremenda:
Quando caeli movendi sunt et terra.
Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem.
Tremens facuts sum ego, et timeo, dum discussio venerit, atque ventura ira.
Quando caeli movendi sunt et terra.
Dies illa, dies irae, calamitatis et miseriae, dies magna et amara valde.
Dum veneris judicare saeculm per ignem.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine: et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal on that fearful day,
when the heavens and the earth shall be moved,
when thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
I am made to tremble, and I fear, till the judgment be
upon us, and the coming wrath
when the heavens and the earth shall be moved.
That day, day of wrath, calamity, and misery, day of
great and exceeding bitterness,
when thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
Rest eternal grant unto them, O, Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.

Written for the Japan Wind Ensemble Conductors Conference, this music touches the realization that we are capable of producing our own day of judgment, fire and wrath. The music is a powerful evocation of hope. The chorus part is single-line Gregorian chant.

- Program Note by composer


The music of American composer David Maslanka is familiar to many wind band conductors. His symphonies as well as the landmark 1981 composition A Child’s Garden of Dreams, among others, have established his work as a major component of the standard repertoire for the ensemble. His music is particularly influenced by a focus on spirituality, frequently of varied origin, and the quotation of other musical works within his own. Many of his works make reference to the four-part chorales of Johann Sebastian Bach, although he incorporates a huge variety of others as well -- from folk songs to American spirituals to commercial jingles.

In the case of his 2010 work Liberation, he reaches back further into the ancient world of monophonic plainchant. The source for the text is a responsorial chant that owes its origins to the celebration of Matins, but in contrast to that celebration of birth and optimism, the “Libera Me” text used in Liberation is one that is sternly reflective upon death and the eternity of the afterlife.

After a brief introduction with a five-fold chiming of bells, the chant begins in earnest. Dr. Maslanka retains an element of performance practice within the Gregorian chant by using a host of mixed and asymmetric meters during the singing, imitating the free neumatic style present in the original. This chant is presented over the course of the work in three major sections, sung by the ensemble in unison octaves and delineating the larger formal structure of both the source text and the musical events, which mimic the contextual meaning of the words. For instance, the phrase “Dum veneris judicare saeculum per ignem” immediately precedes an upward scalar rippling in the woodwinds that becomes sequentially more intense as it repeats, like the flickering of flames consuming an object, before brash fanfares exclaim the implied fearfulness and wrath. The first of two interludes takes some of these fanfare motives and develops them joyfully, with robust rhythmic energy in statements by oboe, soprano saxophone, and flute, but this eventually dissipates into the trembling of “Tremens factus..."

In this second section, as the ensemble resumes the text, more of the instrumentalists are drawn to join and imitate their chanting (the notable outlier being the trumpets, who bark out an angrily dissonant interjection accompanying the words “calamitatis et miseriae”). The repetition of “Dum veneris” is not explicitly sung, but implied through the continuing chant-like melody of the tutti winds before the flames take hold once more. The final section mourns, but with a sense of tranquility. The texture here is sparsely barren, with the orchestration of the coda stripped down to two quartets (the first: flute, alto flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet; the second: alto saxophone, contrabass, piano, and vibraphone). This ending shows true hopefulness, with brief recollections of the earlier vitality serving as a nostalgic remembrance of the deceased.

- Program Note by Jacob Wallace for the Baylor Wind Ensemble concert program, 19 December 2014


Commercial Discography


Audio Links


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


References