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New Philadelphia Orchestra - Yannick Nezet-Seguin recordings of Florence Price 'Symphonies' represent significant artistic endorsement / Musical America

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Florence Price has been re-entering the repertoire with a vengeance in recent years and outstanding new recordings of her First and Third Symphonies by the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin represent another significant artistic endorsement. The Third, perhaps the finest of her four symphonies, receives heartfelt advocacy, the burnished Philly wind and gleaning brass smooth as silk over a warm bed of string tone. Nézet-Séguin, who lends himself heart and soul to this music, gives the work plenty of breathing space, bringing out Price's ardent tunefulness in the slow movement and strutting playfulness in the third movement-one of the composer's signature African Juba dances. Although it's a little top-heavy, he also makes a convincing case for the lesser known First Symphony-in its day the first symphonic work by a Black woman to be played by a major American orchestra-with its long, rhapsodic opening movement, its noble "Andante," a perky Juba, and dancing finale. It's a digital only release on Deutsche Grammophon but don't expect a booklet as shamefully there is none.