The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin – Florence Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

The Philadelphia Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin – Florence Price: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:11:14 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

In 1933, Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1 was the first symphonic work by a Black woman to be played by a major American orchestra, and the third was composed in the midst of the Chicago Renaissance. The two symphonies, played by the Philadelphia Orchestra and conducted by Yannick N’ezet-S’eguin, are set to be released 24 September 2021.

These readings of symphonies by African-American composer Florence Beatrice Price originated as a pandemic-time online digital concert, but Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Yannick N’ezet-S’eguin promises a full exploration of Price’s orchestral output. Such a thing is certainly welcome, for although Price was the first Black woman to have a work performed by a major symphony orchestra, her music has been only sparsely recorded. That “first” was the Symphony No. 1 in E minor heard here, played by the Chicago Symphony under Frederick Stock in 1933, and it is all the more remarkable in that it was Price’s first orchestral work of any kind. Her model is Dvor’ak, with African-American materials sprinkled through the music beyond simply Dvor’ak’s basic pentatonic tunes. These vary in their level of success; the “Juba” movements in each symphony render Black music through a white filter, and N’ezet-S’eguin can’t do much with them. The slow movements, however, are something else again. They have Dvor’ak’s lyrical mood, but they are entirely original in structure, especially that of the Symphony No. 1; N’ezet-S’eguin and the Philadelphians catch some lovely harmonic junctures there, more accurately than the few other groups that have recorded this music. One awaits more of Price from these forces, especially the Symphony No. 4, to these ears, the strongest of Price’s symphonic output.

1. Philadelphia Orchestra – I. Allegro ma non troppo
2. Philadelphia Orchestra – II. Largo, maestoso
3. Philadelphia Orchestra – III. Juba Dance
4. Philadelphia Orchestra – IV. Finale
5. Philadelphia Orchestra – I. Andante
6. Philadelphia Orchestra – II. Andante ma non troppo
7. Philadelphia Orchestra – III. Juba. Allegro
8. Philadelphia Orchestra – IV. Scherzo. Finale