Symphony No. 2 (Schmit)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-VI, including:
- Bar Chimes
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Gong (large)
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
None discovered thus far.
Symphony No. 2 is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Christopher Werner, who died of esophageal cancer on December 8, 2016, at the age of 40. We shared many conversations about music for winds and percussion, and he was an advocate for composers through his commissioning of new works for band.
This composition begins with a trumpet solo that introduces the first theme, establishes the tonal center of “F,” and is similar in feeling to the opening of Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. This intentional yet subtle musical allusion to Mahler’s work is an acknowledgment of a meaningful conversation Chris and I had about Mahler 5. Chris and that piece are now inextricably linked in my mind, and through this musical reference I am able to pay homage to both men.
The architecture of the piece is comparable to the sonata form. Among the many differences, however, are that the themes and their related accompaniments in the exposition are not presented in a stable, fixed manner, but in a state of flux, creating the sense that they are being developed as they are introduced.
Theme one, in three-quarter time, is majestic and angular. The fanfare elements represent praise, the subject of the ancient Te Deum hymn upon which this short symphony is based. The disjunct melody of theme one concludes with an ascending whole tone scale. These and other ceremonial motives recur throughout the work.
The song-like second theme, composed of triplet figures that establish a feeling of compound meter, quotes the Te Deum chant. The conjunct lyrical melody is introduced by a euphonium solo, rises expressively and steadily upward, is passed to the horn, and then to the trumpet. A dramatic version of the theme immediately follows, realized by the entire brass choir.
A timpani roll announces the start of the recapitulation. The recapitulation is succinct and densely scored. Theme two appears in the woodwinds with the instruction to perform it in an “organ-like” manner. This final, bittersweet statement, with its rich countermelody and lush orchestration, brings to light the sacred nature of the Te Deum theme in a tangible way. The coda features a bold, rhythmically augmented statement of theme one progressing to a resolute conclusion.
While this symphony is neither sacred nor programmatic, the use of the hymn evokes for me an image of Chris conducting in a grand space, a beautifully resonant cathedral or concert hall, his love of music, generosity, kindness, influence, and memory living on.
- Program Note by composer
(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) - 17 April 2021 *Pre-Premiere Performance*
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Conquest (2009)
- Encomium for the Courageous 2007)
- Fanfare and Dance
- Fantasia for Band (2005)
- Flatwater Sketches (2016)
- The Galloper (2018)
- Rogue Wave (2019)
- Symphony for Trumpets
- Symphony No. 2 (2019)
- The Voice on the Mountain
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Nolan Schmit." Accessed 16 April 2021
- Nolan Schmit, personal correspondence, April 2021
- Nolan Schmit website Accessed 16 April 2021