A Schenkerian-Schoenbergian Analysis of David Maslanka's Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble and Implications for Performance
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David Maslanka has emerged as one of the most prominent composers of music for wind instruments. His most recent piece for clarinet, the Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble (2014), has been performed and recorded multiple times but has not been addressed by scholars, mainly because the piece is so recent. Previous scholarship concerned with the performance of Maslanka’s clarinet music, such as Mietz (2011), Wester (2013), and Franklin (2014), largely focuses on how Maslanka musically depicts his programmatic inspirations for a piece. There have been substantially fewer if any attempts to explore Maslanka’s music using other tools of analysis. In this document, I will offer a Schenkerian-Schoenbergian analysis of the Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble and discuss performance implications based on the interpretation of my analysis. In Schenkerian-Schoenbergian analysis, Schenkerian analysis is used to locate the motives that are transformed throughout a piece in accordance with Schoenberg’s concept of the Grundgestalt. The performance implications of my analysis arise not from an aim desire to communicate or convey analytical particulars, but from my reactions and emotional responses to the analysis. Motives and their development, rather than events that the performer should “bring out,” elicit emotional or physical responses that can impact performance. This approach to performance and analysis yields various interpretative options in the concerto that might otherwise go unnoticed.
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