Instrumentation: Concert Band
Difficulty: Grade 5, Medium-Advanced
In 1980, I made a list of allegorical references to music in John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. Next, I composed music for each unique instance of the references. I arranged them in the order in which they appear in the novella within a single-movement piece. As interesting a project as this was, the result was still not a piece that had a logical flow from beginning to end.
Five years later, I found a call for scores requiring music for a one-act ballet. The existing Pearl sketches seemed ideal to serve as a starting point. I composed new sections of dramatic music that would underscore the plot of the book, preserving the order of the original music. The scoring was for full orchestra.
Near the end of 2019, I revisited the piece and decided to bring it back to life as an extended work for large concert band. The ending is slightly different from the orchestral version.
Instead of providing an outline of the plot within the program notes for this piece, it is left to the listener familiar with the book to determine whether or not the essence of the story is captured in the music.
Jerome Sorcsek (2021)