FLORENCE B. PRICE (1887-1953): Symphony in E Minor, Concerto in One Movement for Piano and Orchestra (orch. Trevor Weston [b.c.1967]).
Catalogue Number: 01N003
Reference: TROY 1295
Description: The first black woman composer to attain national recognition, Price reflects the romantic nationalist style of her period while making especial use of African-American musical forms in her compositions. Her Third Symphony was recorded by Koch International Classics and released in 2001 with a mid-price reissue just over three years ago, already out-of-print. Here is her first symphony, from 1932, a 34-minute work in four movements originally subtitled Negro Symphony. African-American musical elements are especially prominent in this mix with European Romanticism, with the first movement's two themes, syncopated and using a pentatonic scale, common to black folk music. Church music, spirituals and traditional African music appear in the elements of the slow movement, the scherzo uses the "Juba Dance" (as does the final section of the single-movement, three-part piano concerto of 1934), with suggestions of folk fiddling and banjo playing while the rondo finale builds to a rousing coda. The concerto, whose first section is inspired by spirituals and whose middle, slow section has hints of jazz, was reconstructed from a two-piano/orchestral reduction for this recording. Karen Walwyn (piano), New Black Music Repertory Ensemble; Leslie B. Dunner.