Mountain Roads



Mountain Roads




David Maslanka
Mountain Roads*


David Stock
Sax Appeal*


Russell Peck
Drastic Measures




Saxophone Quartet












Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet


First prize winners of the 1994-95 MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) National Collegiate Chamber Music Competition, and prize winners of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet (TSQ) is rapidly rising as one of the United States' most versatile saxophone quartets in chamber music. The TSQ offers new and exciting listening opportunities by combining classical, jazz, rock and contemporary music. Dedicated to expanding the existing repertoire of saxophone quartet music, the TSQ collaborates frequently with composers, commissioning and performing new works. Recent commissions include such contemporary composers as D. Maslanka, P. Dymiotis, K. O'Riordan, G. Babbini, and G. Wilder.


Since its 1993 inception at Bowling Green State University in coordination with Dr. John Sampen, the TSQ has performed frequently throughout the United States and Europe. Some highlighted performances include the renowned Ravenna Festival in Italy, the 11th World Saxophone Congress in Valencia, Spain, the 12th World Saxophone Congress in Montréal, Canada, as well as concert tours organized by the Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Tourism Organization.


Apart from their appearances as chamber musicians, all members of the TSQ are active soloists and promoters of new music for the saxophone.




David Maslanka (b. 1943)


David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. As a high school student he was a member of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and studied clarinet with Robert Stewart at the New England Conservatory of Music. He later attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M. 1965) studying clarinet with George Waln and composition with Joseph Wood. In 1963 and 1964 he attended the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, working in composition with Cesar Bresgen and conducting with Gerhardt Wimberger. He pursued graduate studies at Michigan State University (M.M. 19968; Ph.D. 1971) with H. Owen Reed in composition, Paul Harder in theory and Elsa Ludwig in clarinet.


David Maslanka's compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and numerous European countries. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts grants from the State University of New York Research Foundation, the Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, and the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers. His works for winds and percussion have become especially well-known, and several, including A Child's Garden of Dreams for Wind Ensemble, Symphony No. 2 for Concert Band, and the solo marimba works Variation on Lost Love and My Lady White, have become standards in their fields. He is a frequent guest composer and conductor at colleges and universities. Maslanka's works are published by Carl Fischer, Inc., Kjos Music Co., and Marimba Productions, Inc., and have been recorded on CRI, Crest, and Mark labels. He is listed in the International Who's Who in Music, and Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He is currently a free lance composer living in Missoula, Montana and has served on the faculty at Kingsborough Community College of the City Music at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York.




Mountain Roads


The music of Mountain Roads is a very personal statement. I feel very deeply about every bit of it. The musical plan of it follows the model of a Baroque cantata, and style and content reflect my years of study of the Bach chorales, and of Bach in general. Obviously there are no words in my "cantata" but the music revolves entirely around two chorale melodies. The main one is "Alle menschen müssen sterben" (All men must die) and the second is "Wo soll ich fliehen" (Where shall I run to?)


Movements I, III, IV, V and VI are all a large evolutionary process on "Alle menschen müssen sterben." "Wo soll ich fliehen" appears in part in the first movement, and is given its full exposition in II. The actual melody of "Alle menschen müssen sterben" does not appear until the four variations of the chorale that end the sixth movement.


The title Mountain Roads comes from a dream that I had while writing this piece. In it I was part of a work crew making new roads in high mountain country. It was springtime, the weather was clear, sunny and comfortable, although there was still snow on the ground. The effect of the place was exhilarating as only mountain wilderness can be. It seemed to me that the dream was a beautiful metaphor for new life and new spiritual opening. The paradox embodied in this exuberant and uplifting music lies in the title of the main choral "All men must die," and further reinforced by the second chorale "Where shall I run to?" The first title suggests the inevitability of death, but is neither morbid nor about mass destruction. The idea of death is not so much about final end as about change. The process of growth is constantly about "dying" to one way of thinking or feeling, and opening to another. After all is said and done, there is the fact of physical death. The awareness of that fact points out our deep attachment to all the forms of this life. It makes experience of all things both deeply sweet and deeply sad. It also suggests the inevitable release of all the forms that we know, and the movement toward whatever exists beyond form.


— David Maslanka


David Stock (b. 1939)


Composer/Conductor David Stock is Professor of Music at Duquesne University, where he conducts the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble. He has been Composer-in-Residence of the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Seattle Symphony, and is Conductor Laureate of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, which he founded in 1976. He retired as Music Director of PNME at the end of the 1998/99 season, after 23 years of dedication to new music and the living composer.


In November 1992, he was selected by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to receive the Creative Achievement Award for Outstanding Established Artist. Among his many commissions are Kickoff, premiered by the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur during the Orchestra's 150th Anniversary; Violin Concerto, premiered by Andres Cardenes and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Lorin Maazel for that Orchestra's 100th Anniversary; and Second Symphony, premiered by the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz.


Stock's compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe, Mexico, Australia, China, and Korea. He has recorded on CRI, Northeastern, MMC, Ocean, and Ambassador. Stock has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, five Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, five Fellowships from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and grants and commissions from Ella Lyman Cabot Trust, the Paderewski Fund for Composers, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, Boston Musica Viva, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Richard Stolzman, Duquense University, the Erie Philharmonic, and many others.


As guest conductor, he has appeared with Australia's Seymour Group, Poland's Capella Cracoviensis and Silesian Philharmonic, Mexico's Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva, Eclipse (Beijing), the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, Monday Evening Concerts, the Syracuse Society for New Music, the Minnesota Composers Forum, the American Dance Festival, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, the New England Conservatory Contemporary Ensemble, the Chautauqua Symphony, the American Wind Symphony, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.


Mr. Stock has served as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and as a host of Da Capo, a weekly series on WQED-FM in Pittsburgh. His television credits include the theme music for the award-winning PBS series Kennedy Center Tonight.




Sax Appeal


Sax Appeal was commissioned for the Amherst Saxophone Quartet by Summerfest, a music festival in Pittsburgh, for its tenth anniversary season. The score was completed in June, 1990, and the premiere took place that July. The work is in four movements: Set Up, Blues, Sarabande, and Jump; the second and third movements are played without pause. Sarabande, the third movement, began life as a piece for recorder quartet, but seemed equally at home in the world of the saxophone. Jazz is clearly the primary influence, as befitting the genre that brought this wonderful instrument into its own. The homogeneity of the instruments from top to bottom also helped shape my sound-world.


I am grateful to my friends of the Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet, not only for this disc, but for bringing the music to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, giving it more performances than any of my other pieces have had.


— David Stock


Russell Peck (b. 1945)


Russell Peck's orchestral compositions have received over 2,000 performances by more than 200 orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. These include major American orchestras such as Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Indianapolis, etc., Britain's London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic, and orchestral performances at Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center, and in Berlin, Warsaw, Barcelona, Kiev, Montreal and Singapore.


An Albany Records compact disk of four of the composer's orchestral works (TROY 040) features recordings by the London Symphony. His most recent recordings are on Koch International and Channel Crossings (Netherlands). His Peace Overture was among the first serious contemporary American orchestral works played in the People's Republic of China (Shanghai Symphony).


The best known works by Mr. Peck include his Percussion Concerto, The Glory and the Grandeur; Signs of Life for string orchestra; and The Thrill of the Orchestra, an orchestral demonstration piece which was recorded for the Discovery video series by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and has been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Hebrew.


Among the honors Mr. Peck has received are the Koussevitsky Prize, two Ford Foundation Fellowships, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and several states' arts councils, ASCAP awards, and commissions from major symphony orchestras. Artist residencies have included an appointment as composer-in-residence for the city of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Symphony. Mr. Peck has also served on the faculty of Northern Illinois University, Eastman School of Music, and the North Carolina School of the Arts.


Russell Peck, born in Detroit, is a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan (1966), where he also received Master and Doctoral degrees in composition (1967 and 1972). His teachers have included Clark Eastham, Leslie Bassett, Ross Lee Finney, Gunther Schuller, and George Rochberg.


He is a member of ASCAP and his music is published by E.B. Marks, Carl Fisher, Editions Jobert, Pecktackular Music, and others; recordings of his music are available on Albany, Koch International, Channel Crossings, and C.R.I. labels. Mr. Peck also performs extensively as narrator of his own orchestral works for young (and adult) audiences, and has appeared as guest artist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee Symphonies, and many others across the country.




Drastic Measures


During my brief university teaching career I came into contact with excellent saxophonists at Northern Illinois University who had a quartet and wanted a piece from me. That's how I came to write Drastic Measures in 1976. A year later I went to the School of the Arts in North Carolina where James Houlik had a great saxophone studio and a wonderful student quartet that became the New Century Saxophone Quartet. I touched up the piece for them and that became its final form.


The first movement is slow, lyrical and polyphonic, highlighting the serious capabilities of the ensemble. The virtuosic second movement is more blues, jazz, and rock-oriented, and highly energized, even including slap-tongue accents. It's also rhythmically complex. President Clinton heard this movement in a private performance by the New Century Saxophone Quartet in the White House.


What maintains the classical integrity of the piece despite the popular flavor in the second movement is its tight formal coherence. A three note motive heard as an accompaniment figure at the very opening of the first movement becomes the basis for the whole piece, reaching several climactic expressions in the second movement.


-Russell Peck


Recording Engineer: Russell Peterson


Editing: Russell Peterson


Post Production and Mastering: Mike Coats, Raptor Studios, Fargo, North Dakota


Mountain Roads and Drastic Measures were recorded in the summer of 1999 at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota at the Hvidsten Hall of Music's Christiansen Recital Hall. Sax Appeal was recorded in the summer of 1998 in the same location.




Cover Photograph:“San Francisco Peaks, Petroglyphs: (1990 by David Muench)


Photo of Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet by All Occasion Photography, Fargo, North Dakota




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Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet


Mountain Roads


Russell Peterson, soprano


Marco Albonetti, alto


Scotty Stepp, tenor


Yiannis Miralis, baritone




David Maslanka


Mountain Roads* (1997)


1 Overture [4:51]


2 Chorale: wo Soll Ich Fliehen [3:32]


3 Aria (in the style of a chorale prelude) [2:05]


4 Chorale [4:16]


5 Aria [3:48]


6 Finale: Alle menschen müssen sterben [9:27]


David Stock


Sax Appeal* (1990)


7 Set Up [3:37]


8 Blues [6:40]


9 Sarabande [5:21]


10 Jump [4:27]


(Amande Materne, tenor saxophone)


Russell Peck


Drastic Measures (1976)


11 Poco adagio; molto espressivo [5:17]


12 Allegro [4:46]


Total Time = 59:00


*World Premiere Recording