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Edward MacDowell

December 18, 1860 - January 23, 1908
born in New York, NY, composed during the Romantic period
At the beginning of the twentieth century, MacDowell was regarded as the single most important composer in the American canon. Future developments in American music dented that reputation, and his music went into a long eclipse, although its influence is strongly felt in the incidental music composed for American radio programs and animated cartoons of the 1930s. MacDowell's supporters are many, including eminent pianists such as André Watts and Constance Keene. They decry the neglect of MacDowell's works, and perhaps justly so; many are outstanding in quality, particularly the Sketches and the "Keltic" Sonata, the latter being an exploration of MacDowell's own Scots-Irish roots.

Edward MacDowell was born in New York City, the son of a milkman and his musically inclined spouse. At eight, MacDowell began piano lessons with a boarder in the home, Juan Buitrago. Through Buitrago, the boy MacDowell met pianist and international concert star Teresa Carreño, who also provided MacDowell with instruction and encouragement. In the late nineteenth century, the only way for a promising American musician to obtain a musical education was to travel to Europe. MacDowell and his mother made the trip to Paris in April 1877, MacDowell enrolling into the Paris Conservatoire. In 1878, MacDowell heard Nikolai Rubinstein in the first Tchaikovsky piano concerto, and with that, he decided to abandon Paris and study in Germany. He went first to Stuttgart, then Wiesbaden, and finally to Frankfurt where he studied with Joachim Raff and concertized in the presence of Franz Liszt. MacDowell began to take in piano pupils of his own, and one of them, Margaret Nevins, became MacDowell's wife in 1884. On Liszt's recommendation MacDowell began to pursue composition rather than performance, and his First and Second Modern Suites were widely successful on first publication, with Carreño helping to spread the word through her frequent programming of these works.

In 1888, Benjamin Johnson Lang, a close family friend, encouraged MacDowell to resettle in Boston, then the center of concert life in America. From this time until 1896 MacDowell enjoyed his greatest successes and patronage, and it is during this time that MacDowell wrote most of his music: the Second Piano Concerto, Indian Suite, Sonata Tragica, most of his songs, and the Woodland Sketches. This last named work contained both To a Water Lily and To a Wild Rose, both destined to become staples of American piano repertoire and known to every student.

In 1895, the MacDowells purchased a farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire, so that the nervy MacDowell could concentrate effectively on his work. In 1896, MacDowell was named head of the newly established music department at Columbia University, an important academic position at a major liberal arts college. MacDowell quickly won the admiration of his colleagues and students through his boundless energy and enthusiasm. However, in 1902 Columbia elected a new president, Nicholas Murray Butler, who did not share MacDowell's vision and sought to eliminate the music department altogether. This instituted a heated conflict between Butler and MacDowell that mainly served to undermine the health of the short-tempered composer, which was further aggravated by MacDowell's being run down in 1904 by a cab on the New York City streets. That year, MacDowell resigned from Columbia, and afterward his health began to decline rapidly. He died on the Peterborough farm on January 23, 1908 at age 47. In accordance with MacDowell's own wishes, MacDowell's widow later converted the farm into an artist's colony, which has become the best-known and most respected environment of its kind in the United States. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis , Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: American Classics: Complete Songs

1. Menie, Op. 34/1: Menie, Op. 34/1

2. My Jean, Op. 34/2,: My Jean, Op. 34/2,

3. Bitte, For Voice & Piano, Op. 33/1: Bitte, For Voice & Piano, Op. 33/1

4. Geistliches Wiegenlied, For Voice & Piano, Op. 33/2: Geistliches Wiegenlied, For Voice & Piano, Op. 33/2

5. Idylle, For Voice & Piano, Op. 33/3: Idylle, For Voice & Piano, Op. 33/3

6. Tyrant Love For Voice & Piano, Op. 60/1: Tyrant Love For Voice & Piano, Op. 60/1

7. Fair Springtide, Op. 60/2: Fair Springtide, Op. 60/2

8. To The Golden Rod For Voice & Piano, Op. 60/3: To The Golden Rod For Voice & Piano, Op. 60/3

9. Sweet Blue-eyed Maid, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/1: Sweet Blue-eyed Maid, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/1

10. Sweetheart Tell Me, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/2: Sweetheart Tell Me, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/2

11. Thy Beaming Eyes, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/3: Thy Beaming Eyes, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/3

12. For Sweet Love's Sake, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/4: For Sweet Love's Sake, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/4

13. O Lovely Rose, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/5: O Lovely Rose, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/5

14. I Ask But This, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/6: I Ask But This, For Voice & Piano, Op. 40/6

15. Lieder (3) For Voice & Piano, Op. 11: No. 1, Mein Liebchen: Mein Liebchen

16. Du Libst Mich Micht, For Voice & Piano, Op. 11/2: Du Libst Mich Micht, For Voice & Piano, Op. 11/2

17. Oben, Wo Die Sterne Glüben, For Voice & Piano, Op. 11/3: Oben, Wo Die Sterne Gl�ben, For Voice & Piano, Op. 11/3

18. Lieder (2) For Voice & Piano, Op. 12: No. 1, Nachtlied: Nachtlied, For Voice & Piano, Op. 12/1

19. Lieder (2) For Voice & Piano, Op. 12: No. 2, Das Rosenband: Das Rosenband

20. The Pansy, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/1 (From An Old Garden): The Pansy, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/1 (From An Old Garden)

21. The Myrtle, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/2 (From An Old Garden): The Myrtle, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/2 (From An Old Garden)

22. The Clover, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/3 (From An Old Garden): The Clover, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/3 (From An Old Garden)

23. The Yellow Daisy, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/4 (From An Old Garden): The Yellow Daisy, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/4 (From An Old Garden)

24. The Bluebell, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/5 (From An Old Garden): The Bluebell, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/5 (From An Old Garden)

25. The Mignonette, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/6 (From An Old Garden): The Mignonette, For Voice & Piano, Op. 26/6 (From An Old Garden)

26. The Robin Sings In The Apple Tree, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/1: The Robin Sings In The Apple Tree, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/1

27. Midsummer Lullaby, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/2: Midsummer Lullaby, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/2

28. Folksong, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/3: Folksong, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/3

29. No. 4, Confidence, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/4: no. 4, Confidence, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/4

30. The West Wind Croons In The Cedar Trees, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/5: The West Wind Croons In The Cedar Trees, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/5

31. In The Woods, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/6: In The Woods, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/6

32. The Sea, Op. 47/7: The Sea, Op. 47/7

33. Through The Meadow, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/8: Through The Meadow, For Voice & Piano, Op. 47/8

34. Deserted, Op. 9/1: Deserted, Op. 9/1

35. Old Songs (2) For Voice & Piano, Op. 9: No. 2, Slumber Song: Old Songs (2) For Voice & Piano, Op. 9: No. 2, Slumber Song

36. Long Ago, Op. 56/1: Long Ago, Op. 56/1

37. The Swan Bent Low, Op. 56/2: The Swan Bent Low, Op. 56/2

38. A Maid Sings Light, Op. 56/3: A Maid Sings Light, Op. 56/3

39. As The Gloaming Shadows Creep, Op. 56/4: As The Gloaming Shadows Creep, Op. 56/4

40. Constancy, For Voice & Piano, Op. 58/1: Constancy, For Voice & Piano, Op. 58/1

41. Sunrise, For Voice & Piano, Op. 58/2: Sunrise, For Voice & Piano, Op. 58/2

42. Merry Spring Maiden, For Voice & Piano, Op. 58/3: Merry Spring Maiden, For Voice & Piano, Op. 58/3

x

Track List: Edward MacDowell: Piano Music, Vol. 4

Title: Etude De Concert, For Piano, Op. 36

1. Etude De Concert, For Piano, Op. 36: Etude De Concert, Op. 36: Allegro Con Fuoco

Title: Second Modern Suite For Piano, Op. 14

2. Second Modern Suite For Piano, Op. 14: Praeludium: Andante Maestoso

3. Second Modern Suite For Piano, Op. 14: Fugato: Allegro Molto

4. Second Modern Suite For Piano, Op. 14: Rhapsodie: Andante Calmato

5. Second Modern Suite For Piano, Op. 14: Scherzino: Presto

6. Second Modern Suite For Piano, Op. 14: Marsche: Allegretto

7. Second Modern Suite For Piano, Op. 14: Phantasie - Tanz: Molto Allegro, Con Fuoco

Title: Serenata For Piano, Op. 16

8. Serenata For Piano, Op. 16: Andante Con Moto

Title: Fantasiestücke (2) For Piano, Op. 17

9. Fantasiestücke (2) For Piano, Op. 17: Erzahlung: Andantino

10. Fantasiestücke (2) For Piano, Op. 17: Hexentanz: Presto

Title: Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39

11. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Hunting Song: Allegretto

12. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Alla Tarantella: Prestissimo

13. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Romance: Andantino

14. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Arabesque: Allegro Scherzando

15. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: In The Forest: Allegretto Con Moto

16. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Dance Of The Gnomes: Prestissimo Con Fuoco

17. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Idyll: Allegretto

18. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Shadow Dance: Allegrissimo

19. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Intermezzo: Allegretto

20. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Melody: Andantino

21. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Scherzino: Allegro

22. Etudes (12) For Piano, Op. 39: Hungarian: Presto Con Fuoco

x

Track List: MacDowell: Piano Music, Vol. 1

Title: Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51

1. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: To A Wild Rose

2. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: Will-O'The-Wisp

3. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: At An Old Trysting Place

4. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: In Autumn

5. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: From An Indian Lodge

6. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: To A Water Lily

7. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: From Uncle Remus

8. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: A Deserted Farm

9. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: By A Meadow Brook

10. Woodland Sketches (10) For Piano, Op. 51: Told At Sunset

Title: Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55

11. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: To The Sea

12. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: From A Wandering Iceberg

13. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: A.D. MDCXX

14. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: Starlight

15. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: Song

16. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: From The Depths

17. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: Nautilus

18. Sea Pieces (8) For Piano, Op. 55: In Midocean

Title: Fireside Tales (6) For Piano, Op. 61

19. Fireside Tales (6) For Piano, Op. 61: An Old Love Story

20. Fireside Tales (6) For Piano, Op. 61: Of Br'er Rabbit

21. Fireside Tales (6) For Piano, Op. 61: From A German Forest

22. Fireside Tales (6) For Piano, Op. 61: Of Salamanders

23. Fireside Tales (6) For Piano, Op. 61: A Haunted House

24. Fireside Tales (6) For Piano, Op. 61: By Smouldering Embers

Title: New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62

25. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: An Old Garden

26. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: Mid-summer

27. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: Midwinter

28. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: With Sweet Lavender

29. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: In Deep Woods

30. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: Indian Idyl

31. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: To An Old White Pine

32. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: From Puritan Days

33. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: From A Log Cabin

34. New England Idyls (10) For Piano, Op. 62: The Joy Of Autumn

x

Track List: MacDowell: The Symphonic Poems

Title: Die Sarazenen, Die Schöne Aldâ, 2 Fragments After The Song Of Roland, For Orchestra, Op. 30

1. Die Sarazenen, Die Schöne Aldâ, 2 Fragments After The Song Of Roland, For Orchestra, Op. 30: The Saracens

2. Die Sarazenen, Die Schöne Aldâ, 2 Fragments After The Song Of Roland, For Orchestra, Op. 30: The Lovely Aldâ

Title: Hamlet, Ophelia, Symphonic Poems For Orchestra, Op. 22

3. Hamlet, Ophelia, Symphonic Poems For Orchestra, Op. 22: Hamlet

4. Hamlet, Ophelia, Symphonic Poems For Orchestra, Op. 22: Ophelia

Title: Lancelot Und Elaine, Symphonic Poem For Orchestra, Op. 25

5. Lancelot Und Elaine, Symphonic Poem For Orchestra, Op. 25: Lancelot Und Elaine, Op.25

Title: Lamia, Symphonic Poem For Orchestra, Op. 29

6. Lamia, Symphonic Poem For Orchestra, Op. 29: Lamia, Op. 29

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Reminds me of my favorite band teacher that has past on ... Your always in mind ����
Report as inappropriate
Well said, brewerp8
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brewerp8
Sighing and sweet. Not terribly cerebral or thought provoking music but it aches so beautifully.

Dude is dope.
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what a kind legacy...
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bently51
He is wonderful

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