Date of this Version
Christa Krause. A Performance Guide and Comparison of Three Works for Flute and Piano by David Maslanka: Duo, Songs of My Nights, and "...and I am a child before there are words..." Lincoln, Nebraska: 2015
Having written over forty works for wind ensemble, many of which have become part of the standard repertoire, David Maslanka (b. 1943) is known today as one of the leading wind band composers of our time. Maslanka’s compositional output also includes many solo and chamber works for wind and percussion instruments, and several orchestral and choral works. Although Maslanka’s solo and chamber works have become increasingly popular, his three works for flute and piano—Duo (1972), Songs of My Nights (2009), and “…and I am a child before there are words…” (2011), are still relatively unknown to flutists. The intent of this study is to familiarize flutists with David Maslanka’s works for flute and piano by providing an in-depth examination of the background of each piece, and by offering comprehensive suggestions to aid in the performance of these works. Because Maslanka’s three works for flute and piano span almost his entire forty-plus year compositional career, a comparison of these works also helps contribute to a deeper understanding of the compositional aspects within David Maslanka’s music over the course of his lengthy and prominent career.
This study begins with an introduction, and is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 includes a comprehensive biography of David Maslanka’s life and works. Chapters 2 through 4 provide an in-depth examination of the background of each work, along with detailed performance suggestions. Chapter 5 offers a comparison of the three works—placing each within the scope of Maslanka’s vast compositional career—along with providing concluding remarks. The appendices offer scholars further insight to the works by providing source material influential to Songs of My Nights and “…and I am a child before there are words…,” biographies of the musicians influential to the pieces, and a discography of Maslanka’s solo works for flute.
This document is intended to be a valuable source for those wishing to study and perform David Maslanka’s works for flute and piano, as well as to contribute to a larger understanding of Maslanka’s powerful music and life as a whole.
Advisor: John R. Bailey