Second Suite
by Robert Jager

Robert Jager was born in Binghamton, New York (1939), and is a graduate of The University of Michigan. Four four years he served in the United State Navy as the Staff Arranger/Composer at the Armed Forces School of Music. Jager is now retired and is professor emeritus at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee. Jager’s credits comprise over 120 published works for band, orchestra, chorus, and various chamber combinations. Jager has received many awards for his compositions, including being the only three-time winner of the American Bandmasters Association “Ostwald Award.” He is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the American Bandmasters Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Kappa Phi, and an “Honorary Member” of the Women’s Band Directors Association.

Year of Composition: 1965

Publisher: Volkwein Bros. Inc

Grade: 5

Type of Composition: Suite

Style: Fanfare, Ballade, Scherzo

Programming Suggestions: Second Suite for band was written by Robert Jager shortly after winning numerous composition awards. The Suite has three characteristic movements: I. Fanfare II. Ballade III. Scherzo.

Solo instruments: horn, English horn, Bb clarinet, bassoon.

Anecdotal Notes: First movement is “Fanfare” of rather restrained dignity. The emphasis in this movement is on band color and contrast. The second movement contains a very lyrical English Horn solo, which may be substituted by the alto sax. All of the following themes grow from this solo theme. Through use of mild dissonances and not too common instrumental combinations the “Ballade” progress until the English Horn return to close the movement. The “Scherzo” adds one further factor to the color and contrast already mentioned, and that is rhythm. After the rhythmic quality is set by the percussion, the bassoon states the main theme. Later the euphonium repeats the theme and then a variation of it is taken by the horns against a muted trombone background. The theme is repeated by the woodwinds and soon gives way to the secondary theme stated by the clarinets. This theme builds to a climax and immediately gives way to a rhythmic background in the brasses against which the main theme is again heard. Cornets and horns pick up the variation of this theme and drive it to the second major climax of the movement. Percussion begin the build-up for a full recapitulation of the main theme. After two large crashes from the full band the “Fanfare” is again heard. This is only a short excerpt of the “Fanfare” for the driving force of the “Scherzo” returns and brings the piece to a brilliant ending. The piece has several wind instrument runs doubled in the marimba part. Many sections of the piece are composed in a call and response style. A descending line may start in a high voice and then is handed off to lower voices. Dynamics will have to be extremely soft in some solo passages as the solo is accompanied with full section chords. Few meter changes within movements. All meter changes remain in simple meter. Few complicated rhythms.

Discography: contact

Recording of "Second Suite"