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Jeni Slotchiver - American Heritage makes 'Manao Radio: Year-end Catches of the Day'

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"Catch of the Day" is Matthew Gurewitsch's 90-minute sampler of recent recordings, with off-the-cuff commentary, reminiscences, and free association. It airs at noon Hawaiian time the first and last Sunday of each month as part of Paul Janes-Brown's "Alpha & Omega Show" on KMNO, Manao Radio 91.7 FM, an all-volunteer station in Wailuku.

Herewith are Matthew's comments on his final show of the year. It includes; American Heritage (Zoho Classix 2020) with Jeni Slotchiver, piano. Pieces featured are Florence B. Price, Dances in the Canebreaks

I. Nimble Feet

II. Tropical Noon

III. Silk Hat and Walking Cane

Florence B. Price (1887-1953) is much on our mind these days as one of America's classical composers cheated by gender or race of a fair shot. But was she? In 1933, the Chicago Symphony, if you please, introduced her prize-winning Symphony No. 1 in E minor, the year after it was completed, establishing her place in the history books; never before had a major orchestra performed a Black woman's music. Three further symphonies would follow. In a spirit the great Antonín Dvořák would surely have applauded, Price drew inspiration from the songs and the spirituals of her native Deep South. She composed prolifically, she was honored as a teacher, and her work continued to be performed widely by artists including the trail-blazing Marian Anderson. In short, though long neglected in death, Price can scarcely be said to have been overlooked in her lifetime. Now a rising tide of interest in Black composers is lifting her boat, along with many others. Jeni Slotchiver's wide-ranging program gives a goodly number of those voices a welcome hearing. Price's trio of elegant salon pieces evoke Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, and other popular tunesmiths of like vintage. In Slotchiver's performance, the pizzazz baked into the writing registers register chiefly as unfulfilled potential.

SEE Hawaii's 91.7Manao Radio: Year-end Catches of the Day' & BEYONDCRITICISM PAGE