• Florence Price
  • Waltz of the Spring Maid

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)

ed. John Michael Cooper

  • pf
  • 3 min 45 s

Programme Note

The Waltz of the Spring Maid is one of a sizeable group of pieces for piano solo that document Florence B. Price’s love of the waltz — works such as Rainbow Waltz, Rowing, Summertime Waltz, and Waltzing on a Sunbeam, among others. Although the autograph is undated, the paper and script suggest that it was written in the early 1930s — though Price returned to it at least twice significantly later, entering revisions in fuchsia and orange pencil. Its music, like that of her other waltzes, sparkles with charm and good humor, seamlessly integrating some features derived from Price’s African American heritage (most notably gapped scales and circular melodies) with others frequently encountered in concert waltzes. At 128 measures it is also the most expansive, closely followed by In Sentimental Mood (which is not officially designated a waltz). It is laid out in an expansive ternary form, with the first A section (mm. 1-32 bis) itself being a ternary form in C major, a repeated B in A-flat major (mm. 73-104) containing a variety of figurations and textures, and a truncated reprise of the A section (mm. 1-30 bis), plus transitions between the A and B sections and a marvelously imaginative coda that initially combines rich chromatic chords with a poco ritardando before releasing the pent-up momentum into the accelerando of the sparkling final bars.

— John Michael Cooper