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Yannick Nezet-Seguin

Florence Price: Symphonies Nos 1 & 3 (CD)

Florence Price's Symphony No. 1 was the first symphonic work by a black woman to be played by a large American orchestra in 1933. Infused with American folk music, spirituals, and hymns, this acclaimed work reflects the experiences of a black woman who grew up in the South after the Civil War.

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 development as a composer who, compared to her more traditional First Symphony, takes more risks, employs modern techniques, and expands emotional elements.

After her death, however, her work was forgotten, an important chapter in American music that has only recently been rediscovered. By researching their rediscovered compositions in concerts and in the studio, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra want to help restore Price to her rightful place as one of the most important American composers of the 20th century.

The two symphonies, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, were recorded at the Verizon Hall of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia in early 2021.

Symphony in E minor No. 1

Allegro ma non troppo
Largo, maestoso
Juba Dance

Symphony in C minor No. 3

Andante ma non troppo
Juba: Allegro
Scherzo: Finale