Pastels for Orchestra (1986) by Zenobia Powell Perry
The piece was read in a workshop by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1986, conducted by Paul Freeman (1936-2015), as part of the African American Composers Festival in Detroit.
Zenobia Powell Perry wrote the following program notes: "Pastels for orchestra is a brief composition divided into four sections. The first opens with flutes leading to the expository rhythmic pattern of the accompaniment played by the strings: basis of the first and second sections. After the first period, flutes are joined by other woodwinds playing a slow shimmering theme gradually developing and making use of more conventional meters. The second section contains the three tonal instrumental choirs intertwining their colorful sounds in the idea. The tempo accelerates as strings also become carriers of the theme. The third section, in alternating quintuple and duple rhythms, form a theme that is metrically, harmonically, and structurally contrasting to the second section. The coda is a modified outgrowth of the actual beginning. Here flutes accompany the violins, and the end is as quiet as the beginning.”
An Mp3 of a midi version of the piece is available upon request.
23 pages (legal size); 5’40”
2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 B-flat Clarinets; Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in B-flat; 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Strings (Violins I and II; Viola, Cello, and Double Bass).
Many thanks to Ira Hearshen (www.hearshenmusic.com) who did some editing on the score and to Bonnie Janofsky (www.bonniejanofsky.com) for the music copying and the creation of the parts.