Music for the ears and the imagination

When the musicians of the Cosmopolitan Music Society step up for their year-end concert, they will probably evoke all kinds of mental imagery during their performance. The audience might think about people in love and of people marching. And eggs rolling.

The latter two visual images will likely be connected to Robert Jager’s Third Suite.

Jager, an American composer, wrote this piece in 1965. He dedicated it to Leo Imperial, then the director of the Granby High School Band in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as to the band itself, describes Garry Silverman, music director of the Cosmopolitan Music Society.

“The first section is a rather metrically distorted march (non-characteristically scored in alternating 4/4 and 3/4 time); one might imagine marching on crutches to this one,” Silverman continues.

“The second movement, "Waltz," also suffers from what sounds like metrical disability (with alternating 3/4 and 2/4 times). Do not try to dance to this one.”

Silverman adds that the work’s energetic final movement could bring up yet another image: the aforementioned egg. But rolling the long way around.

Another piece at the concert takes a different turn: forbidden love. This is “Song Without Words,” the second movement of Gustav Holst’s 1911 Second Suite in F for Military Band. Holst wrote this piece when he, like many other English composers, was using folk music as inspiration for his compositions. Indeed, seven folk tunes appear in the four movements of the Second Suite.

“The fourth folk song, “I’ll Love My Love," comprises the entire second movement. It is a mournful piece in which the melody is played over a flowing accompaniment,” Silverman says. “It tells the sad story of a young maiden driven into Bedlam by grief over her lover being sent to sea by his parents to prevent their marriage.

Sun, June 6 (7:30 pm) 

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