Symphonic music wasn’t composer Florence Price’s strong suit. Rather, she was much more at home working in smaller forms or for her own instrument.
Few figures have benefited more from the recent surge of interest in music by composers of color than Florence Price. In recordings, performances, and print, the Arkansas-born, Boston-trained, Chicago-based musician is getting a long-overdue rehabilitation. The latest installment in the continuing effort comes courtesy of pianist Josh Tatsuo Cullen, with a survey of some of Price’s piano music.
It’s a timely addition to the Price discography. The most high-profile releases of her music of late have been of orchestral works; one of those – the Philadelphia Orchestra’s recording of her Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 – took home a Grammy award. Welcome as that recognition is, it perhaps doesn’t do Price full justice: symphonic music wasn’t her strong suit (a fact that’s paradoxically emphasized in the Philadelphians’ excellent performances). Rather, she was much more at home working in smaller forms or for her own instrument.