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Symphony IV (Maslanka)

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David Maslanka

David Maslanka

General Info

Year: 1994
Duration: c. 27:45
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental   |   Score Only - $85.00


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

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Bull Roar
  • Crotales
  • Crash Cymbals (crash; very small, small, and large suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (Tam-tam) (6)
  • Marimba
  • Shaker (small)
  • Snare Drums (2; piccolo and normal)
  • Suspended Cymbals (3; very small, small, and large)
  • Tenor Drum
  • Tom-toms
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone (with Cello or Bass bow)
  • Wood Block (small)
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The sources that give rise to a piece of music are many and deep. It is possible to describe the technical aspects of a work -- its construction principles, its orchestration -- but nearly impossible to write of its soul-nature except through hints and suggestions.

The roots of Symphony No. 4 are many. The central driving force is the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life. I feel it is the powerful voice of the Earth that comes to me from my adopted western Montana, and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho. My personal experience of the voice is one of being helpless and torn open by the power of the thing that wants to be expressed -- the welling-up shout that cannot be denied. I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing. The response in the voice of the Earth is the answering shout of thanksgiving, and the shout of praise.

Out of this, the hymn tune Old Hundred, several other hymn tunes (the Bach chorales Only Trust in God to Guide You and Christ Who Makes Us Holy), and original melodies which are hymn-like in nature, form the backbone of Symphony No. 4.

To explain the presence of these hymns, at least in part, and to hint at the life of the Symphony, I must say something about my long-time fascination with Abraham Lincoln. Carl Sandburg's monumental Abraham Lincoln offers a picture of Lincoln in death. Lincoln's close friend, David Locke, saw him in his coffin. According to Locke, his face had an expression of absolute content, of relief at having thrown off an unimaginable burden. The same expression had crossed Lincoln's face only a few times in life; when after a great calamity, he had come to a great victory. Sandburg goes on to describe a scene from Lincoln's journey to final rest at Springfield, Illinois. On April 28, 1865, the coffin lay on a mound of green moss and white flowers in the rotunda of the capitol building in Columbus, Ohio. Thousands of people passed by each hour to view the body. At four in the afternoon, in the red-gold of a prairie sunset, accompanied by the boom of minute guns and a brass band playing Old Hundred, the coffin was removed to the waiting funeral train.

For me, Lincoln's life and death are as critical today as they were more than a century ago. He remains a model for his age. Lincoln maintained in his person the tremendous struggle of opposites raging in the country in his time. He was inwardly open to the boiling chaos, out of which he forged the framework of a new unifying idea. It wore him down and killed him, as it wore and killed the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Civil War, as it has continued to wear and kill by the millions up to the present day. Confirmed in the world by Lincoln, for the unshakable idea of the unity of all the human race, and by extension the unity of all life, and by further extension, the unity of all life with all matter, with all energy and with the silent and seemingly empty and unfathomable mystery of our origins.

Out of chaos and the fierce joining of opposite comes new life and hope. From this impulse I used Old Hundred, known as the Doxology -- a hymn to God; Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow; Gloria in excelsis Deo -- the mid-sixteenth century setting of Psalm 100.

I have used Christian symbols because they are my cultural heritage, but I have tried to move through them to a depth of universal humanness, to an awareness that is not defined by religious label. My impulse through this music is to speak to the fundamental human issues of transformation and re-birth in this chaotic time.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Florida: VI (Counts as two pieces)
  • North Carolina: Masterworks


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Dordt University (Sioux Center, Iowa) Wind Symphony (Onsby Rose, conductor) - 30 April 2021
  • Stephen F. Austin University (Nacogdoches, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (David Campo, conductor) - 22 April 2021
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Orchestra (Andrew Trachsel, conductor) – 11 February 2020
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 7 February 2020
  • Marshall University (Huntington, W. Va.) Wind Symphony (Adam Dalton, conductor) – 5 December 2019
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornett, conductor) – 22 November 2019
  • Boston (Mass.) Conservatory Wind Ensemble (Matthew Marsit, conductor) – 17 October 2019
  • University of South Carolina (Columbia) Wind Ensemble (Scott Weiss, conductor) – 22 September 2019
  • Beijing (China) Wind Orchestra (Li Fangfang, conductor) – 18 July 2019
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Ensemble (Christopher J. Woodruff, conductor) – 9 June 2019
  • Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Mast, conductor) – 18 May 2019
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 18 May 2019
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Wind Ensemble (Travis J. Cross, conductor) – 26 April 2019
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Robblee, conductor) – 2 March 2019
  • Boston (Mass.) University Wind Ensemble (David Martins, conductor) – 28 February 2019
  • Vandegrift High School (Austin, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Mike Howard, conductor) – 15 February 2019 (2019 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Clarence (N.Y.) High School Wind Ensemble (Louis Vitello, conductor) – 7 February 2019
  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (James Patrick Miller, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 15 November 2018
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Paul Popiel, conductor) – 9 November 2018
  • Western Illinois University (Macomb) Wind Ensemble (Mike Fansler, conductor) – 5 May 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer