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Symphony for Band (Jager)

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Robert Jager

Robert Jager

This work is also known as Symphony No. 1.

General Info

Year: 1964
Duration: c. 22:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.


1. Andante espressivo
2. Alla marcia
3. Largo espressivo
4. Allegro con fuoco


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The first movement of the four-movement work is ternary in form, opening with a dramatic "motto" theme that is the basis of the entire symphony and appears in every movement. The second movement is a march and, except for one change in dynamic level in the middle, is to be performed in one continuous crescendo to the end. The third movement is a slow, ballad-like movement, and the fourth part returns more obviously to the "motto" theme of the opening, developing it further before ending in a joyous manner.

Symphony No. 1 was dedicated to Gilbert Mitchell, former director of the U.S. Army Band. For its composition, Jager was the 1964 recipient of the American Bandmasters' Association Ostwald Award.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Jager composed Symphony for Band as an entry for the 1963 Sousa/Ostwald Award (former Ostwald Award) held by the American Bandmasters Association (ABA). It was selected as the winning composition the following year, earning the composer recognition for a work that has become regarded as a masterpiece of symphonic music for wind ensemble. Although temporarily out of print for some time, the score was newly prepared and published in 2010.

The work consists of four movements, and the four notes that are heard at the start of the 1st movement make up the main motif repeated throughout the entire piece.

1st Movement, Andante espressivo - Allegro - Andante in F Minor
The opening movement in three-part form features dramatic changes in tempo. The four-note motif (Db -Ab-C-F) played at the start by the bass instruments establishes several themes that are developed throughout the piece. Therefore, this movement could be considered an overture to the 4th movement, where these themes make another appearance.

2nd Movement, Alla marcia in A Minor
This powerful movement, “in the style of a march" as directed on the score, is played at a constant tempo with a simple theme that is driven by the rhythm from the percussion section (and is vaguely similar to Japanese marches). The four-note motif makes an appearance again at the end of this movement.

3rd Movement, Largo espressivo in F Major
This movement features several romantic passages that are characteristic of Jager’s style at the time. The main motif is developed into an ascending sequence.

4th Movement, Allegro con fuoco -- Andante Allegro molto vivace in F Minor
The finale, in sonata rondo form, consists of an energetic theme that is derived from the 4-note motif (now as C-F-A-C) and played over fast trills by the woodwinds, along with the theme groups from the 1st Movement. After a brief andante section that features an oboe solo, the main theme changes to the key of F major with a return to allegro, followed by a gradual increase in tempo as the movement builds to its conclusion in the key of A major.

- Program Note for the Hiroshima Wind Orchestra concert program, 23 December 2017


  • Ostwald Award winner, 1964.


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: VI
  • Minnesota: I


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