Song of the Day #2042

Song of the Day: Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, composed by Florence Beatrice Price, was first performed in 1933 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frederick Stock. It’s a truly wonderful four-movement composition that won First Prize in the Rodman Wanamaker Competition. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Price is noted as the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. Having witnessed the injustices of racial segregation in her home town, she eventually became part of the Chicago Black Renaissance. In this piece, especially in its third movement, classical motifs are intertwined with elements of Americana and the slapping rhythms of the African American juba dance. Today is the 135th anniversary of Price’s birthday, depending on whether her year of birth is marked as 1887 or 1888. But in any year, this is worth every minute of its near-40 minute length [YouTube link].

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