Repertoire to Know: Florence Price

Next up in our collection of suggestions for repertoire that would be perfect for a performance supported by the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy Performance Grants, is the work of Florence Price.

Price was a prolific composer whose works ranged from spirituals to symphonies.  This past February WNYC profiled Price for Black History Month.  You can listen a recording of the broadcast here:

Her Symphony No. 3 received critical acclaim at its premiere.  The first performance was in 1940 in Detroit.  A critic from the Detroit Free Press wrote about it:

Mrs. Price…spoke in the musical idiom of her own people, and spoke with authority.  There was inherent in [the Symphony] all the emotional warmth of the American Negro, so that the evening became one of profound melodic satisfaction.

In the symphony there was a slow movement of majestic beauty, a third in which the rhythmic preference of the Negro found scope in a series of dance forms, and a finale which swept forward with great vigor.

Here is a recording of the work being performed by the Women’s Philharmonic:


The piece is available through A-R Editions.  Wouldn’t this paired with Copland make for a fabulous concert?

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.