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I love his first piano concerto. Mainly because my Mum's ex played it, and practised it a lot while I was around back when I wasn't that into classical music. I loved it...not a common first taste, but it was my real first sustained taste of classical music. I revisited it again recently, and I love it!

Don't know much of his other stuff though...
 

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Edward MacDowell, B.New York 1861 died there 1908. At one time he was considered to be the most important American composer. He studied the piano and had lessons from the famous pianist Terese Carreno, he travelled to Europe and and was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire at age 14. He later moved on to Germany where he came under the influence of Raff who was a friend of Liszt. Liszt took an interest in MacDowell and was of considerable help to him . He wrote quiet an amount of music for piano, orchestra and voice and there have been bursts of interest in him from time to time. There are a number of his works in the lists of of record companies and they include : The Sonata Eroica, Op.50, subtitled "Flos Regum Arturis" based around the legend of King Arthur and Camelot. Woodland Sketches, Op.51--MacDowell was immersed in nature and hid in a private world of forests, elves, spirits, deserted farms and wild flora and fauna. His most famous piece is from this suite, "To a Wild Rose". Eight Sea Pieces, Op.55. An evocation of the "Mayflower's" voyage. He wrote two piano concerti, No.1 Op.15 and No.2 Op.23 this was the work that changed his career.Virtuoso pianists such as Eugene List, Van Cliburn and Earl Wild have recorded these works. He also produced an Indian Suite, Op.48 based on tunes from the Iroquois and Chippewa tribes.I note that Thomas Hampson has recorded some of his songs.
MacDowell never really realised his potential and was declared insane in 1905 and died three years later aged only 47.
 

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MacDowell is one of my favorite composers. He didn't do much work other than solo piano works and lieder. He's probably most known for his "Woodland Sketches" which includes "To a Wild Rose," probably his most distributed piece. The Second Piano Concerto is in the standard repertoire for pianists (and personally, my favorite of the two he wrote.)

If you get a chance, please listen to his piano sonatas. They are all wonderful pieces. Extremely difficult...but wonderful works. They're very mature works, towards the end of his tragically short career (thank you horse and buggy).
 
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Love his Woodland Sketches. I have played his trascription of Couperin's L'Ausonienne.

Is there any recording of his playing available on cylinder or 78-rpm ?
I'm not sure, but knowing how many recordings of him exist, it's not very probable.
 

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MacDowell was hit by a horse and buggy in 1904, effectively causing his death four years later. They lived most of his later life in rural New Hampshire (where I'm from). The chances of him having access to that technology is very improbable.
 

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I've just been discovering the works of this marvelous composer. Are any of you other folk acquainted with his work?
Only the PCs on MCA Millennium with Eugene List. Fine performances, but the works didn't stay with me long. I have similar feeling for the Mendelssohn PCs. I guess that's good company, if you look at it that way.

Sidenote for pianist List. Do not pass up his Shostakovich PCs on the same label or Westminster. Spectacular. Conducted by the other Jochum, Georg Ludwig.

P.S. IP's post reminded me of the Woodland Sketches. That was either on the aforementioned CD, or another MCA CD, and I enjoyed it more than the PCs.
 

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The guy may not have composed much work or been hugely successful, but he certainly did well for himself (despite all the troubles). I didn't realize he died insane (thanks, moody, for all that info!).

Two years ago I stayed at the MacDowell Colony -- Edward's former sprawling estate turned into an Artist-in-Residence program. I played pool on the very pool table he'd owned and I got to view his home and basement work room, complete with original piano. His composing studio had framed pictures of Liszt and Beethoven. But I confess I didn't know much about him or his music. My main thought was: Wow, this guy must've been loaded! :D Nobody there mentioned anything about Eddie having gone insane. A good thing probably as there were already enough ghost stories going around. :p Perhaps the most famous composer resident there has been Leonard Bernstein. Wanted to check out the studio he'd used but never got the chance. Anyway, for any MacDowell fan it's worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood. And if you just want to get away to work on an artistic project then definitely look into it. Feel free to PM me if you got any questions about the place.
 

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The guy may not have composed much work or been hugely successful, but he certainly did well for himself (despite all the troubles). I didn't realize he died insane (thanks, moody, for all that info!).

Two years ago I stayed at the MacDowell Colony -- Edward's former sprawling estate turned into an Artist-in-Residence program. I played pool on the very pool table he'd owned and I got to view his home and basement work room, complete with original piano. His composing studio had framed pictures of Liszt and Beethoven. But I confess I didn't know much about him or his music. My main thought was: Wow, this guy must've been loaded! :D Nobody there mentioned anything about Eddie having gone insane. A good thing probably as there were already enough ghost stories going around. :p Perhaps the most famous composer resident there has been Leonard Bernstein. Wanted to check out the studio he'd used but never got the chance. Anyway, for any MacDowell fan it's worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood. And if you just want to get away to work on an artistic project then definitely look into it. Feel free to PM me if you got any questions about the place.
First off, MacDowell was pretty successful. He was one of the first, if not the first, American composers that was able to get regular performances in the states. He was also successful in Europe as a protege of Joachim Raff, another very successful composer (and not so much anymore.) His piano concerts were high in demand and MacDowell founded the music department at Columbia University.

As far as the insanity goes, from what I've read, it was due to the accident with a horse and buggy. However, I've just come to this website that said it was syphilis. I'm really doubting this website (makes for a good story though.) Most of the books I've read have seen a correlation with his accident and his decline in mental capacity. I've never read anything that said he had syphilis until today (and I've read quite a bit on MacDowell.)

But we can thank his mental illness for the colony, because that was one of his "crazy" ideas that his wife actually saw to completion. Peteborough, NH though is a wonderful place. Very quaint!
 

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Any good suggestions for MacDowell? I recently got into his Sea Pieces and really enjoyed them.

Anything else good?
 
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