OUT NOW | Florence Beatrice Price's Rare Orchestral Works 

Released on Naxos records, three orchestral works by the African-American composer are performed by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony and conductor John Jeter

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Florence Price was one of the most prolific American musicians of her generation and the first female African-American classical composer to gain national attention.

The Rare Revivals album features Price's Symphony No. 3 in C minor, representing her cultural heritage; The Mississippi River, a suite quoting famous spirituals and expressing the struggles of Black migration across the US; and the world premiere recording of Ethiopia's Shadow in America, which illustrates the American experience of enslaved Africans.

Born in 1887 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Price grew up in a middle-class household and later attended the New England Conservatory — one of the few conservatories at the time that admitted African-Americans. 

Price’s music career took off at the onset of the 1930s economic depression, during which she produced many orchestral, vocal, instrumental, and chamber works. Her musical style was influenced by Dvořák and Coleridge-Taylor, as well as Black spirituals and vernacular dances.

“The musicians did an amazing job bringing Price’s vivid scores to life,” said conductor John Jeter, who previously recorded Price’s first and fourth symphonies with the Arkansas-based Fort Smith Symphony.

“Her popularity as a concert composer has virtually exploded in recent years due to audiences embracing her unique musical style,” Jeter continued in the press release. 

“The depth of the American experience is depicted in her music like no other composer,” he added. “I can’t wait for music lovers to hear this new release of three very powerful works by the first recognized female African-American concert composer.”

To listen to and purchase the album, click here.

 

A short documentary on the making of the album can be watched below: