Yannick Nezet-Seguin & The Philadelphia Orchestra – Florence Price: Symphonies 1 & 3 (2LP)

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In 1933, Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1 was the first symphonic work by a black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra. Infused with American folk music, spirituals, and church hymns, this celebrated work reflects the experiences of a black woman growing up in the post-Civil War South.

Commissioned by the Federal Music Project at the height of the Great Depression, Florence Price composed her Third Symphony in the midst of the Chicago Renaissance, which provided a powerful setting for writers and artists such as Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Margaret Bonds. Price’s engaging Third Symphony reflects her evolution as a composer, taking more risks, employing modern techniques, and expanding emotional elements compared to her more traditional First Symphony.

After her death, however, her work fell into obscurity and has only recently been rediscovered. By exploring her rediscovered compositions in concert and in the studio, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra hope to help restore Price to her rightful place as one of the most important American composers of the 20th century. The two symphonies, performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, were recorded in early 2021 at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.


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