Friday, January 20, 2012 Florence Price's 'Concerto in One Movement' is 'an extremely exciting and approachable work.'

[Florence B. Price: Concerto in One Movement, Symphony in E Minor; New Black Music Repertory Ensemble; Leslie B. Dunner, Conductor; Karen Walwyn, Piano; Albany Records 1295 (2011)]

Florence B. Price (1887-1953) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, A review at New Music Box of the recent Albany Records CD of works of Florence B. Price also mentions numerous other composers of African descent, many of whom are also featured at

New Music Box
By Frank J. Oteri on January 17, 2012
“Since yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I thought it was an appropriate day to listen almost exclusively to music by African-American classical music composers—a group of composers who all too often get excluded from the pantheon of our nation’s most significant creative artists even at a time when we make extremely valiant attempts to celebrate diversity. While a handful of African-American composers alive now have the opportunity to hear their music performed by orchestras and other large-scale enterprises around the country and the past giants of jazz, blues, and other genres are rightfully revered (some even on postage stamps), pioneers like William Grant Still (1895-1978), R. Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943), William Levi Dawson (1899-1990), Ulysses Kay (1917-1995), and many others have yet to enter the standard repertoire of concert halls.”

“The most recent attempt to right the wrong of the current neglect of Florence Price’s music is the latest installment in an ongoing series of CDs entitled 'Recorded Music of the African Diaspora' featuring the New Black Music Repertory Ensemble and released by Albany Records under the auspices of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College in Chicago. Like its aforementioned Women’s Philharmonic forebear, the latest addition to the Florence Price discography is also the result of some intrepid musical archaeology. The disc opens with Price’s Concerto in One Movement, a work which premiered in Chicago in 1934 with the composer as soloist and which was subsequently performed by another early 20th century African-American female composer-pianist Margaret Bonds, who later became a close friend of and frequent collaborator with Langston Hughes. Yet the original orchestral score for this composition is lost; all that has survived are three manuscripts (all in the composer’s hand): a solo piano version, a three-piano arrangement, and a two-piano arrangement containing some marginal notes about instrumentation (although it is not known if these were written by her before or after the completion of the original orchestration). The Center for Black Music Research commissioned composer Trevor Weston to reconstruct an authoritative orchestration from the surviving materials, and this work received its premiere on February 17, 2011, with pianist Karen Walwyn and the New Black Repertory Ensemble conducted by Leslie B. Dunner; the same forces appear on the present recording. The Concerto, in its current guise, is an extremely exciting and approachable work.

“The rest of the disc is devoted to that historic first Symphony in E Minor, a massive nearly 40-minute work.” 

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