Price / Cann / Slack - Beyond The Years | RECORD STORE DAY

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ONEcomposer connects historically excluded musical legacies with present-day artistic excellence, motivated by the woman who first inspired this initiative: Florence Beatrice Price. That connection of past to present led ONEcomposer to Karen Slack and Michelle Cann. The opportunity to hear Price's songs performed by industry leaders positions her where she belongs- alongside the great art song composers. Karen Slack is one of the most gifted communicators in her industry, and her versatility in presenting recitals, chamber music, and opera is exceptional. Slack is a devoted champion of the music of Black composers, past and present. Michelle Cann has been championing the works of Florence Price for many years. In 2021, ONEcomposer collaborated with the Philadelphia Orchestra to present the modern-day premiere of Price's own orchestration of the Piano Concerto in One Movement with Cann as soloist. The Philadelphia Inquirer dubbed her performance a "knockout, " and Cann regularly travels the world performing Price's music on major stages and with leading orchestras. Slack and Cann are Philadelphians and alums of the Curtis Institute of Music, but surprisingly, had never performed together. Sparks flew when ONEcomposer partnered with the Curtis Institute to bring them together to record songs by Margaret Bonds and Florence Price in May of 2021. With the primary goal of celebrating and disseminating Price's music, this recording project was conceived. The following liner notes tell just the beginning of an incredible story. They provide a snapshot of Price, the songwriter, and the poets she selected to highlight through music. This album is advocacy. It is an invitation to performers, educators, musicologists, and anyone with curiosity to continue the work of fully realizing Price's legacy. With her arrival into the public domain on January 1, 2024, there is a new opportunity to delve deeper into research and performance. The details of the lives and legacies of Florence Price and the poets featured on this album are too extensive and too nascent to be definitively represented within these pages. As such, we have created a living repository for further engagement, which can be viewed at www. ONEcomposer. Org. Florence Price:With an ever-increasing awareness of the excellence that defined her career, Florence Price is finally receiving the recognition that she deserves. Price won the Wanamaker Prize in 1932, and she was the first Black woman to have a symphony premiered by a major American orchestra. Price was a gifted student, pianist, and organist. She graduated from high school in Little Rock, AR, at age 14. At age 16, she graduated from the New England Conservatory (as the only double major in her class) with degrees in organ performance and piano pedagogy. Price wrote music for everyone- across a range of styles and abilities, and for a variety of forces. Beyond the Years hones in on Florence Price the composer of songs. ONEcomposer has cataloged nearly 150 of her songs (to date), only about half of which have been published. Examination of her manuscripts, diaries, and correspondence reveals that Price was deeply connected to text, holding subscriptions to multiple literary magazines. Beyond the Years highlights Price's affinity for themes of faith, nature, love, and loss. Amongst Price's treasures in the archives at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, is her well worn copy of Vaccai: Practical Method of Italian Singing, a symbol of her fastidious commitment to writing idiomatically for the voice. Whether it was her love of text setting or her belief that her songs could be more easily shared than her larger scale works, Price worked tirelessly advocating for this repertoire. She regularly corresponded with great singers of her generation including Carol Brice, Camilla Williams, Inez Matthews, and Marian Anderson, frequently sending songs for their consideration and use. As performed by Karen Slack and Michelle Cann, these songs are receiving new life in the hands of two of the greatest artists of our generation. We will soon publish the editions used for this recording in an anthology (vol. 1), and we look forward to hearing songs from Beyond the Years on stages around the world.