A Labor of Love:
The Maslanka Saxophone Sonata
Version 2

Matthew Maslanka here: I have been running Maslanka Press since 2012. The very first piece I wanted to release was my father’s Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano. It’s taken more than 12 years and an enormous effort to bring this new edition of the work to you. I hope it helps you discover the piece and deepen your relationship with this extraordinary music.

Just Play

David would often say to “just play” the music. The more the music on the page can get out of your way, the more you can “just play.” This has been the goal of this edition.

New Engraving and Modern Notation

Crisp and Clean
The original calligraphy is elegant, but can be tough to read. Music engraving is about clarifying the notation.
Clear Notation
We updated rhythms to modern standards. In this case, splitting the beat makes it much easier for the piano to line up with the soloist.
Come In On Time
More piano cues help with tricky entrances.
Better Page Turns
Page turns have been designed with the help of top saxophonists. The third movement in particular had several impossible turns in the original.

Edited With a Light Touch

Ask the Right Person
Steven Jordheim was the first champion of the Sonata. He worked with David Maslanka many times on it and has one of the finest recordings of the work. He taught for many years at Lawrence University. His decades of performing and teaching the piece made him the perfect person to help us make a new edition designed to serve modern saxophonists.
Top Tips
Steve's suggestions show up throughout the score and as an appendix to the part.
A Light Touch
We kept the distinctive elements of the Sonata as originally written while offering alternatives.
Although David Maslanka did the original calligraphy for both the score and the part, he made small changes between them. We've invisibly reconciled most of them, but one needed to be pointed out.

Performing Aids

Fortified with Knowledge
Steven Jordheim not only helped edit the score, but wrote a thorough and well-researched performing guide.
Hit the High Notes
We’ve also included the personal altissimo fingering solutions not just from Steve but also Masato Kumoi. Masato is an extraordinary performer who championed dad’s music in Japan.
Play Your Way
One of the biggest pieces of community feedback we got was to produce a tablet version to make performing easier. The music is much bigger with plenty of space for markings.