A ‘Crown of Thorns’ on The American Sound, 6 p.m. Saturday

Hear David Maslanka's "Crown of Thorns" on The American Sound, Saturday at 6 p.m. on Classical 101.(Photo: Jennifer Hambrick/WOSU)
Hear David Maslanka's "Crown of Thorns" on The American Sound, Saturday at 6 p.m. on Classical 101.(Photo: Jennifer Hambrick/WOSU)

Musical inspiration can come from anywhere – from literature, from the bible, from nature.

American composer David Maslanka received inspiration from the plant kingdom for his marimba ensemble work, Crown of Thorns. Seeing the crown of thorns plant at a New York botanical garden brought forth images, including a seven-starred halo, in Maslanka’s mind. Maslanka explained that the halo was the crown of thorns transcended by way of suffering to the most exalted heights. And unique instrumentation and melodies make Maslanka’s work sound truly otherworldly.

The colloquial name for the crown of thorns plant was inspired by the Passion narrative leading up to the Easter, which this year will be celebrated on Sunday. According to the Passion story, Roman guards placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head, a physically painful mocking of his claim of kingship, before the crucifixion.

Saturday at 6 p.m. on The American Sound, we’ll hear a selection from David Maslanka’s Crown of Thorns for Easter weekend. We’ll also listen to Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon’s string quartet version of Amazing Grace and we’ll continue our National Poetry Month series with an American overture inspired by the bard himself.

Join me Saturday at 6 p.m. for The American Sound on Classical 101!

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