Mühlfeldtänze  (2018)  7 minutes
Commissioned by the Aaron Copland House and the Hoff-Barthelson Music School
view score
Audio: MIDI mock-up:

Performance by high school students at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School (poor sound quality recording - very noisy room, recorded on a video camera):

In 1890, the 57-year old Johannes Brahms retired from composing, telling a friend that he “had achieved enough” and was looking forward to “a carefree old age [he] could enjoy in peace.”1 Only months later, he heard the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld perform Mozart's Clarinet Quintet and Weber's Clarinet Concerto, and was so taken with Mühlfeld’s virtuosity and musicality that he came out of retirement and composed his Clarinet Trio, Clarinet Quintet, and two Clarinet Sonatas, all dedicated to Mühlfeld.

The majority of the clarinet part of Mühlfeldtänze (“Mühlfeld Dances”) is comprised of licks and passages from Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet – at times quoted verbatim, at times slightly altered – recontextualized in a syncopated, jazz-inspired, dance-like framework. Mühlfeldtänze was commissioned by the Aaron Copland House and the Hoff-Barthelson Music School.


"Lansing McLoskey’s Specific Gravity: 2.72 followed and contained some of the most successful moments of the evening. Commissioned for newEar’s twentieth season, McLoskey found inspiration in emeralds (the 20th anniversary stone) and the soggetto cavato process of implanting names into musical form, in this instance the pitches of "newEar" became the germ of the piece. Luckily the two gelled into a magnificent work, especially the second movement, "November Graveyard." This movement was graceful with lush harmonies and an overall quietude of reflection. His use of metallic percussion instruments in this movement created subtle palettes for the winds and strings to float upon..."
— Lee Harman, KC Metropolis review

"Smart, compelling and fascinating music that gives strong hints of a punk-band past.…a chaotic collision of exuberant populist style with a bluesy edge and infectious punch. … Sixth Species offers a bracing sampler from an engaging, greatly gifted composer I hope to hear more from."
Gramophone Magazine, Annual Awards Issue

"Lansing McLoskey composes music that is keenly heard and deeply felt.  His music reveals a remarkable sensitivity…resulting in works of emotional intensity. Avoiding any allegiance to “isms” he has developed a unique musical voice which is clear and distinctive."
– The American Academy of Arts and Letters, on the occasion of his receiving the 2011 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship.

"Lansing McLoskey’s is a distinctive voice in present day American music. This CD offers a fascinating cross-section of his vocal and instrumental chamber music and bears witness to McLoskey’s sharp ear for instrumental sonorities."
– Carlos María Solare. The Journal of the American Viola Society

“McLoskey’s musical interests have evolved from being a guitarist and songwriter for punk rock bands to a composer of some of the most unique and engaging contemporary music written today.
– Benjamin Faris. The Saxophone Symposium

“…one of the most exceptional and inspiring concerts I have ever attended…. [McLoskey's work] inspired me to be more critical when thinking about musical sonority, form and thematic development in the future.”
– Elizabeth Perten, Boston Musical Intelligencer

"But in fact the heart of the concert, for this listener, was an unassuming piece [Rosetta stone] by Lansing D. McLoskey - the "D" standing perhaps for dense, demanding, daring. ... The opening was an explosively metric movement of terrifying complexity and jagged irregularity. Balancing it was a second movement of rounded, mantralike piano clusters interspersed with lyrical lines in the treble instruments. McLoskey... created a magical sonority throughout this mysterious but thought-provoking piece."
–Paul Horsley, The Kansas City Star
"...THIS IS REAL MUSIC, with rhythm, melody, harmony, and form, which the listener can perceive, but definitely is from the twentieth century."
 –Thomas Hall, Journal of the American Viola Society

"A major talent ... and a deep thinker with a great ear. His Requiem is distinctive, fascinating, and compelling."
 –American Composers Orchestra press release

"The other standout on the program, McLoskey's Requiem...[is] a beautiful piece, one that conveys both ethereal solemnity and wrathful reckoning."
–Michael Manning, The Boston Globe

"[McLoskey's music]...resonates with the listener and doesn't attempt to alienate the audience. ... powerful and emotive music."
Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sential