Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oregon Public Broadcasting: 'Classical Lost And Found: Florence Price Rediscovered'

Florence Beatrice Smith Price (1887-1953) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works Lists by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

Albany Troy 1295

August 2, 2013

Contributed By: Bob McQuiston

The Concerto in One Movement for piano (composed around 1934) is in three sections, beginning with a moderato, which opens with a brief orchestral introduction followed by a piano cadenza. They both hint at the sweeping main idea which has traditional spiritual overtones and is the subject of a virtuosic and harmonically inventive developmental dialogue between soloist and orchestra.
After a brief pause we get a gorgeous adagio with a lyrical theme, again with a folk-like accent. Price follows with a totally infectious final allegretto apparently modeled after the African-American juba dance once practiced on U.S. plantations.
The bulk of the album is devoted to her nearly 40-minute Symphony in E Minor from 1932, which the Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiered the following year, making it the first such work by a black woman performed by a major U.S. orchestra.
The opening movement has melodies and rhythms typically found in Afro-American folk music, and recalls Dvorák’s New World Symphony, while the following slow movement features a moving hymn tune of Price’s design.
Both concluding movements are fast and return to the juba dance concept. They contain hints of fiddles and banjos, antic slide whistle effects, and a recurring three-against-two melody which end this loveable work on a whimsical note.

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