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Title: Edward MacDowell
Author: Porte, John F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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A Great American Tone Poet, His Life and Music



Author of _Edward Elgar_, _Sir Charles V. Stanford_, etc.

With a Portrait of Edward MacDowell and Musical Illustrations in
the Text

New York:
E.P. Dutton & Company
681 Fifth Avenue


_I do like the works of the American composer MacDowell! What a
musician! He is sincere and personal--what a poet--what exquisite
harmonies!--Jules Massenet._

_I consider MacDowell the ideally endowed composer.--Edvard



(Published as _Critical and Historical Essays_).

_For it is in the nature of the spiritual part of mankind to
shrink from the earth, to aspire to something higher; a bird
soaring in the blue above us has something of the ethereal; we
give wings to our angels. On the other hand, a serpent impresses
us as something sinister. Trees, with their strange fight against
all the laws of gravity, striving upward unceasingly, bring us
something of hope and faith; the sight of them cheers us. A land
without trees is depressing and gloomy.

In spite of the strange twistings of ultra modern music, a simple
melody still embodies the same pathos for us that it did for our

We put our guest, the poetic thought, that comes to us like a
homing bird from out the mystery of the blue sky--we put this
confiding stranger straightway into that iron bed, the "sonata
form," or perhaps even the third rondo form, for we have quite an
assortment. Should the idea survive and grow too large for the
bed, and if we have learned to love it too much to cut off its
feet and thus make it fit (as did that old robber of Attica), why
we run the risk of having some critic wise in his theoretical
knowledge, say, as was and is said of Chopin, "He is weak in
sonata form!"

In art our opinions must, in all cases, rest directly on the
thing under consideration and not on what is written about it.
Without a thorough knowledge of music, including its history and
development, and, above all, musical "sympathy," individual
criticism is, of course, valueless; at the same time the
acquirement of this knowledge and sympathy is not difficult, and
I hope that we may yet have a public in America that shall be
capable of forming its own ideas, and not be influenced by
tradition, criticism, or fashion.

Every person with even the very smallest love and sympathy for art
possesses ideas which are valuable to that art. From the tiniest
seeds sometimes the greatest trees are grown. Why, therefore,
allow these tender germs of individualism to be smothered by that
flourishing, arrogant bay tree of tradition--fashion, authority,
convention, etc.

No art form is so fleeting and so subject to the dictates of
fashion as opera. It has always been the plaything of fashion,
and suffers from its changes.

Always respectable in his forms, no one else could have made
music popular among the cultured classes as could Mendelssohn.
This also had its danger; for if Mendelssohn had written an opera
(the lack of which was so bewailed by the Philistines), it would
have taken root all over Germany, and put Wagner back many years.

Handel's great achievement (besides being a fine composer) was to
crush all life out of the then promising school of English music,
the foundation of which had been so well laid by Purcell, Byrd,
Morley, etc._

(On Mozart). _His later symphonies and operas show us the man at
his best. His piano works and early operas show the effect of the
"virtuoso" style, with all its empty concessions to technical
display and commonplace, ear-catching melody ... He possessed a
certain simple charm of expression which, in its directness, has
an element of pathos lacking in the comparatively jolly
light-heartedness of Haydn.

Music can invariably heighten the poignancy of spoken words
(which mean nothing in themselves), but words can but rarely, in
fact I doubt whether they can ever, heighten the effect of
musical declamation.

To hear and enjoy music seems sufficient to many persons, and an
investigation as to the causes of this enjoyment seems to them
superfluous. And yet, unless the public comes into closer touch
with the tone poet than the objective state which accepts with
the ears what is intended for the spirit, which hears the sounds
and is deaf to their import, unless the public can separate the
physical pleasure of music from its ideal significance, our art,
in my opinion, cannot stand on a sound basis.

Music contains certain elements which affect the nerves of the
mind and body, and thus possesses the power of direct appeal to
the public--a power to a great extent denied to the other arts.
This sensuous influence over the hearer is often mistaken for the
aim and end of all music.... In declaring that the sensation of
hearing music was pleasant to him, and that to produce that
sensation was the entire mission of music, a certain English
Bishop placed our art on a level with good things to eat and
drink. Many colleges and universities of America consider music
as a kind of boutonnière.... Low as it is, there is a possibility
of building on such an estimate. Could such persons be made to
recognize the existence of decidedly unpleasant music, it would
be the first step toward a proper appreciation of the art and its
various phases.

In my opinion, Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the world's
mightiest tone poets, accomplished his mission, not by means of
the contrapuntal fashion of his age, but in spite of it. The laws
of canon and fugue are based upon as prosaic a foundation as
those of the rondo and sonata form; I find it impossible to
imagine their ever having been a spur or an incentive to poetic
musical speech.

Overwhelmed by the new-found powers of suggestion in tonal tint
and the riot of hitherto undreamed of orchestral combinations, we
are forgetting that permanence in music depends upon melodic


Owing to the high cost of book production at the present time,
the use of illustrations, both musical and photographic, has been
restricted in this book. It was decided only to fully illustrate
the analysis of MacDowell's "Indian" Suite for Orchestra, _Op.
48_, this being a work less accessible to the general reader than
the composer's well known pianoforte pieces.

The author gratefully acknowledges the help of:--

Mrs. MacDowell--Information and gift of MacDowell portraits, an
original letter and a piece of MS. of the composer.

Mr. W.W.A. Elkin--Information and loan of scores.

Mr. Charlton Keith--Loan of _D minor Pianoforte Concerto_.

Messrs. J. and W. Chester, Ltd.--Information.













EDWARD ALEXANDER MACDOWELL was born in New York City, U.S.A., on
December 18th, 1861, of American parents descended from a Quaker
family of Scotch-Irish extraction who emigrated to America about
the middle of the 18th Century. He was their third son. As a boy
he studied the pianoforte with Juan Buitrago, a South American,
Pablo Desvernine, a Cuban, and for a short time with the famous
Venezuelan pianist, Teresa Carreño. He also indulged in childish
composition on his own account. He was not a "wonderful" pupil
and did not like the drudgery of practising "exercises."

When he was fourteen years of age he went to France, accompanied
by his mother, to study pianoforte playing and the theory of
music at the Paris Conservatoire under Marmontel and Savard
respectively. Here one of his fellow students was Debussy, even
then looked upon as having curious and unconventional ideas on
his art.

MacDowell had also to learn the French language, and the person
who taught him French discovered that the young American had a
decided gift for drawing. He showed one of the boy's sketches to
a teacher at the School of Fine Arts, who offered to take the boy
as a pupil for three years free of charge, and to be responsible
for his maintenance during that time.

With his striking imaginative powers and love of Nature, and his
appreciation of Historical and Legendary lore, it is very
probable that MacDowell might have become distinguished as a
painter had he applied himself to painting, for he was a born
artist and very fond of sketching, but he refused the offer on
the advice of his music teachers, and continued his studies at
the Conservatoire.

After persevering for a couple of years he grew dissatisfied with
the tuition he was receiving, and upon hearing Nicholas
Rubinstein play, he determined to go elsewhere.

Careful discussion with his mother resulted in their selection of
Stuttgart, Germany, whither they accordingly removed, MacDowell
entering the Conservatorium there. Here he was soon convinced,
however, that the instruction given there was of no use to him,
and after having studied under Lebert and Louis Ehlert and having
been refused a hearing by Hans von Büllow, he left Stuttgart and
entered the Frankfort Conservatorium, where his teachers were
Raff, the Principal, for composition, and Carl Heymann for
pianoforte playing. Raff was kind and encouraging to the young
American, and once said to him, "Your music will be played when
mine is forgotten." The influence of Raff's teaching is evident
in a number of MacDowell's early compositions, especially the
_Forest Idyls, Op. 19_, and the _First Suite for Orchestra, Op.

In 1881 Heyman resigned and nominated MacDowell as his successor,
a proposal seconded by Raff. The gifted American, however,
possessed the criminal fault, in the eyes of jealous and
intolerant old men, of being young; the fact that he was quite
capable of filling the vacant post was, to them, a secondary
consideration, and he was rejected.

He now began to take private pupils, and among them was an
American girl, Marian Nevins, who was to become his wife about
three years afterwards; the _Forest Idyls, Op. 19_, are dedicated
to her. Although he had failed to obtain the vacant professorship
at Stuttgart, MacDowell was appointed head teacher of the
pianoforte at the Conservatorium in the neighbouring town of
Darmstadt. His work here was soul-killing in its drudgery and he
soon relinquished it.

Apart from his teaching labours, MacDowell had, in the meantime,
been composing steadily, and had also been appearing at local
orchestral concerts as solo pianist, and in 1882 Raff sent him to
Liszt armed with his _First Pianoforte Concerto, Op. 15_. The
mighty old Hungarian praised the work highly and also seemed
impressed with MacDowell's playing. He was kind to the struggling
young American, eventually accepted the dedication of the
concerto, and recommended the performance and publication of some
of MacDowell's earlier compositions, notably the _First Modern
Suite, Op. 10_, and the _Second Modern Suite, Op. 14_.

Composition now became more and more the dominating feature in
the development of MacDowell's musical genius, although he was
still obliged to teach for his living.

He was fortunate in being able to persuade local conductors to
try over his orchestral works, a thing that was practically
impossible in his own country, as he afterwards found. In June,
1884, he returned to the United States, and in the following
month (July 21st) he married his former pianoforte pupil, Marian
Nevins, in whom he was to find complete happiness and a devoted
companion and sympathiser. In the same year Mr. and Mrs.
MacDowell returned to Frankfort, after having visited England.

In 1885 MacDowell applied for a professorship at the English
Royal Academy of Music, but Lady Macfarren, wife of the
Principal, was instrumental in securing his rejection on account
of his youth, nationality and friendship with Liszt, who, in
English Victorian academic eyes, was too "modern."

In 1887 MacDowell and his wife, they having returned to Germany,
bought a little cottage in the woods some distance from
Wiesbaden. They were very friendly with Templeton Strong, another
American composer, some of whose works have been played at the
Queen's Hall Promenade Concerts in London.

In September, 1888, the MacDowells sold their German cottage and
returned to their native country, electing to make their home in
Boston, Mass.

MacDowell found that his European reputation and his music had
preceded him to America, and he was well received on the occasion
of his first concert in his native country. Most notable were his
successes when he played his _Second Pianoforte Concerto, in D
minor_ (_Op_. 23), at important orchestral concerts in New York
and Boston.

In 1889 MacDowell played his D minor concerto in Paris, where
more than twelve years before he had been a student, and it was
after his return from this visit to France that his fame as a
pianist and composer began to spread freely in America. In 1890
his _Second Symphonic Poem, Lancelot and Elaine_ (_Op_. 25), was
played under Nikisch at Boston.

The year 1891 was a successful one for MacDowell, for it saw two
performances of a large orchestral work, _First Suite, in A
minor_, he had just completed; the production of his symphonic
_Fragments_ (_Op_. 30); and his first pianoforte recital in

MacDowell's prestige continued to grow steadily. He was
invariably received with enthusiasm on the numerous occasions of
his public appearances as a pianist, while each new composition
he issued was remarkably well received by the public and the
newspaper musical critics. The Boston Symphony Orchestra was
especially encouraging to him, placing both his _"Indian" Suite,
Op. 48_, and his _First Concerto, in A minor, Op. 15_, on the
programme of one of its New York concerts. Teresa Carreño, the
famous pianist from whom he had had a few lessons when a boy,
played some of his music at most of her recitals. She was also
instrumental, with the ready help of Sir (then Mr.) Henry J.
Wood, in making MacDowell's D minor concerto known in England.
The popular London Queen's Hall conductor was impressed with the
work, and has ever since recommended it to budding young pianists
as a concerto worth studying.

The occasion of MacDowell's performance of his D minor concerto
with the Philharmonic Society of New York on December 14th, 1894,
is worthy of note. He then achieved one of the most conspicuous
triumphs of his career. His playing was described by Henry T.
Finck, the distinguished American musical critic, as being of
"that splendid kind of virtuosity which makes one forget the
technique." MacDowell received a tremendous ovation such as was
accorded only to a popular prima donna at the opera, or to a
famous virtuoso of international reputation. The musical critics
generally agreed that the fine feeling and the power of the
concerto was as responsible for his remarkable success before the
critical Philharmonic audience as his playing of it. The
conductor was Anton Seidl.

A few months after the above event, MacDowell created a deep
impression in the same city by his playing of his _Sonata
Tragica, Op. 45_, and some smaller pieces.

In 1896 he bought some land near Peterboro, in the south of the
state of New Hampshire. In addition to a music room connected by
a passage with the house, he built a log cabin in the woods near
by, where he could compose in the solitude that was needed for
the transcribing of his dreams and inspirations into permanent
music form.

In the same year (1896) it was decided to found a department of
music at Columbia University, New York, and MacDowell, described
by the committee formed to appoint a Professor of Music as "the
greatest musical genius America has produced," was offered the
distinguished, but as it proved, laborious task of organising the
new department. After some hesitation he accepted the post, as it
would afford him an income free from the precariousness of
private teaching.

In a letter to the writer, Mrs. MacDowell says: "In taking the
position of Professor of Music at Columbia University, Mr.
MacDowell went into an environment quite different from anything
he had ever experienced before. He had no University training, no
knowledge of its methods, and brought to his work an enthusiasm
and freshness which eventually meant overcrowded class rooms."

During his vacation from the University in 1902-3, he undertook a
great concert tour of the United States, going as far west as San
Francisco. In 1903 he visited England, and on May 14th played his
D minor pianoforte concerto at a concert of the Royal Philharmonic
Society in Queen's Hall, London.

In 1904 he resigned from Columbia because of a disagreement with
the faculty concerning the proper position of music and the fine
arts in the curriculum. His plans for a freer and greater
relationship between University teaching and liberal public
culture were considered impracticable and the authorities
rejected them. MacDowell's attitude in the matter was criticised,
misunderstood and misrepresented at the time. He was even accused
of neglecting the duties of the position he held, whereas, as it
afterwards transpired, he had laboured ungrudgingly at his task.
It is pleasant to know that his students were among the first to
uphold his character. His patience, his droll criticisms, and the
illuminating quality of his teaching endeared him to all who
studied under him.

MacDowell was bitterly disappointed and hurt at the unfavourable
reception of his reforming plans, but until the beginning of his
fatal illness shortly afterwards, he continued his teaching
privately, even giving free lessons to deserving students in
whose talent he had faith.

His lectures at Columbia University are preserved in permanent
form under the title of _Critical and Historical Essays_. In a
letter to the writer, Mrs. MacDowell says of the volume, "I think
my husband would have felt that just such a title implies a more
finished product than one finds, but after his death the demand
was very great among his old students that these notes might be
preserved in permanent form ... Mr. MacDowell had an extraordinary
memory, and seldom had more than mere notes in delivering his
lectures. Occasionally in preparing the lectures, without quite
realising it, he dictated far more than he had intended, not
always using this material in his class room. These Essays
represent the result of what he dictated to me as he walked up
and down his music room trying to crystallize his ideas; they were
printed unedited. I sometimes think one reads in between the lines
of these Essays a good deal of what the man was himself."

Although the time at his command was restricted, the eight years
of MacDowell's Columbia professorship saw the composition of most
of his finest works. For two years he was conductor of the
Mendelssohn Glee Club, one of the oldest and best Male-voice
choruses in the United States, and was also, for a short time,
President of the Manuscript Society, an association of American
composers. Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania
conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Music.

In the spring of 1905, MacDowell began to suffer from nervous
exhaustion. Overwork and morbid worry over disagreeable
experiences, especially in connection with his resignation from
Columbia, brought on insomnia. A quiet summer on his Peterboro
property brought no improvement in his condition, and the eminent
medical specialists who attended him soon pronounced his case to
be a hopeless one of cerebral collapse. He should have rested
earlier from both his crowded teaching and his composing.

Slowly, but with terrible sureness, his brainpower was beginning
to crumble away and his mind became as that of a little child.
Day after day he would sit near a window, turning over the pages
of one of his beloved books of fairy-tales, an infinitely moving
and tragic figure.

Time went by and the delicately poised intellect grew more and
more dimmed, until at last he hardly recognised his dearest
friends. A few months before the end his physical strength,
hitherto well preserved, began to fail, until at last he sank
rapidly, dying at 9 o'clock in the evening of January 23rd, 1908,
at the age of forty-six, in the Westminster Hotel, New York, in
the presence of his devoted wife.

A simple service was later held at St. George's Episcopal Church,
and he was buried on the Sunday following his death. His grave is
on an open hilltop of his Peterboro property that he loved, and
is marked by a granite boulder on which is a simple bronze tablet
bearing the lines inscribed at the head of one of his last
pieces, _From a Log Cabin_ (_Op_. 62, _No_. 9), an unconscious
prophesy of his own tragic end:--

  _A house of dreams untold,
  It looks out over the whispering tree-tops
  And faces the setting sun_.

The last music that MacDowell published appeared in 1902, and
indicated the beginning of a new and deeper note in his creative
voice. He felt, too, that he was growing away from pianoforte
work and had he lived there would have been further and more
representative symphonic poems and at least one symphony from his
pen, three movements of the latter being among his unfinished
manuscripts. He had hoped for ultimate leisure in which to
compose, free from the drudgery of earning his living by
teaching, and his last great concert tour was undertaken with the
idea of gathering money for the realisation of his dream.

The death of MacDowell completed the blow which his failing
brain-power had dealt to American music and his many sympathisers,
between two and three years before. His spirit lives, however, in
his music and in the wonderful MacDowell Colony at Peterboro, New
Hampshire. The latter is an amazing realisation of the composer's
dream of an ideal environment for creative work in Music, Art and
Literature. A chapter describing the Colony will be found further
on in this book. In addition to the central organisation, now
known as _The Edward MacDowell Association, Incorporated_, there
are springing up in many American cities offshoots known as
MacDowell Clubs, which contribute towards the expenses of the


Macdowell's position to-day in creative musical art remains the
same as it was twenty years ago--one of unassailable independence
and individualism. Although these two factors, whether assailable
or not, must be a feature of any composer who lays claim to
greatness, in MacDowell's case they are so marked as to form the
strongest bulwark of his natural position among great music
makers. His tone poetry is of a quality and power that is not
quite like that of any other composer, and in the portraying, or
suggesting, as he preferred to call it, of Natural, Historical
and Legendary subjects he stands alone. Superbly gifted as a
lyrical poet both in the literary and the musical sense, and with
a most refined and keen feeling for the dramatic, he spoke with a
voice of singular eloquence and power. Probably his greatest
achievement was his remarkable, unerring ability to create
atmospheres of widely varied kinds in his music, and in this
respect there is no composer quite his equal. The soft beauty,
grandeur, vastness and might of Nature; the joys and sorrows of
Humanity; the romance of History and imaginative Legend; the
buoyancy of sunshine and wind; the mysteriousness of enchanted
woods; all these he translated with inimitable vividness into
music. He could suggest with as definite and unmistakable a
musical atmosphere, the simple beauty of a little wild flower, as
the might of the sea; as well the fanciful and imaginative scenes
of fairy tale as the wild and lonely vastness of the great
American prairies; as well the joviality and humour of his
countrymen as the elemental strength, and rude, stern manliness
of the North American Indian, and the heroic, stirring atmosphere
of the ancient bards.

That MacDowell was greater than is generally recognised in
England is an opinion that increasingly forces itself on all who
study and become closely acquainted with his best work. He is
generally admitted to be great in small, lyrical forms, but it is
insufficient to regard him merely as a miniaturist. The form of
the well-known _Sea Pieces_ (_Op_. 55) for pianoforte is small,
for example, and yet the material is big and grand enough for
symphonic work. The equally well-known _Woodland Sketches, Op.
51_, contain pieces of charming and delicate conception, as well
as broader writing, and can hardly be considered as the products
of a restricted inspiration. The poetry is so unmistakably fresh
and individual, and the atmosphere so vividly suggested, that the
ability of the composer to condense his material into such small
compass is remarkable to even the most casual observer. Far from
shewing weakness, the small form of MacDowell's compositions is a
proof of his strength, for few other composers have been able to
suggest such big scenes, often of far-reaching and wide
significance, on such small canvasses as those on which he
painted his tone poems.

The outstanding reason for his preference for writing albums of
short pieces (partly due, no doubt, to lack of time for more
extended work) was that he loved to seize a passing impression or
inspiration and to express it in music before it faded from his
mind. Nearly all his small pieces are musical photographs of the
fancies of an impressionable and sensitive imagination.

The criticism sometimes heard that he was only good in small
forms is, however, based on a fallacy due to an imperfect
acquaintance with his work and is completely shattered by the
indisputable greatness of his two concertos, of his four
pianoforte sonatas and of the _"Indian" Suite_ for orchestra. The
sonatas, although not all of equal value, comprise some of the
finest pianoforte music in existence. They are notable for their
passion, breadth of style, massive momentum, dramatic power and
eloquence of expression. Admirers think them only equalled by
such creations as Beethoven's _Sonata Appassionata_. It is
curious that MacDowell's sonatas are infrequently performed, for
they bring the resources of the modern pianoforte into full and
sonorous play, sweeping the whole of the keyboard with their
stirring expressions. It is possible that as they are not in
general demand, the average virtuoso does not consider their
technical difficulties worth conquering. Nay, it is even doubtful
whether the pianist's mind could always rise to the heights of
fervent poetry and imagination whither MacDowell was often
carried and the memories of which are embodied in his finest

As a tone poet MacDowell has none of the sensuous emotionalism
that wins popularity in the drawing room and at the musical
recitals of popular pianists. He is never sentimental and his
strength and passion is always finely controlled, never feverish.
His music is singularly free from the emotionalisms of sex, the
love-impulse with him is always noble and restrained. In all his
moods there is a human spirit and some definitely suggested
content, the most notable purist exceptions being the two
pianoforte concertos. His tone colourings are never used densely
or oppressively, but only serve to heighten the suggestiveness of
the whole. He loved the pianoforte as an instrument for personal
melodic and harmonic expression, and understood the range of its
tonal resources. His biggest music for it is written with very
broad and extended chords, strong in character, but always
wonderfully clear and ringing, and eminently suited for
pianoforte sonority. His tone nuances range from a shadowy,
mysterious _pppp_ to a virile, massive _ffff_.

MacDowell's best orchestral composition is his _Second (Indian)
Suite, Op_. 48. This is one of his most noble works, scored with
masterly skill and vividly suggesting the great plains and
forests, the wild and lonely retreats, the festivals, sorrows,
rejoicings, and romances and also the stern, rude manliness of
the North American Indians, whose pathetic annals form such a
stirring page in American history. MacDowell also wrote three
symphonic poems for orchestra, another suite, and some symphonic

The songs of MacDowell make an important section of the catalogue
of his works, and are chiefly notable for their beauty and
tenderness of expression, and he was at his very best when
writing in the pure lyric form. His efforts comprising Ops. 56,
58 and 60 are of a rare and expressive order. He also composed a
number of fine part-songs for male-voice choruses. Most of his
best vocal works are set to his own verses, as he could seldom
satisfy himself that words ally themselves naturally with music.

Poetry furnishes a composer with inspiration for expression
which, MacDowell felt, could not be clearly demonstrated in a
small space, and that the music therefore is apt to distort the
words if they are harnessed to it in song form. Most of
MacDowell's finest pianoforte pieces bear verses in addition to
titles, thus definitely indicating what the music is intended to
suggest. His verses are of an uncommon and gifted order, for he
was a true poet in both the literary and the musical sense. His
poems were collected some years after his death and published
under the title of _Book of Verses, by Edward MacDowell_. They
are valuable for their own sake, quite apart from their
connection with his music, and make very beautiful reading. A
number of his wonderfully illuminating Columbia University
lectures, to which we have referred more fully in the preceding
chapter, were collected and edited by W.J. Baltzell and published
in 1912 under the title of _Critical and Historical Essays
(Lectures delivered at Columbia University) by Edward MacDowell_.

MacDowell's work is of the kind that appeals intimately to those
only who understand and feel the significance of things musical.
His compositions are seldom mentioned in those terms of effusive
adoration so often applied to the works of many well-known
composers, neither do they figure largely in the recitals of
popular pianists, for minds saturated with sensuous sentiment and
the worship of tradition cannot easily follow his pure idealism
and the significance of the things which he loved and expressed
in his music. His compositions are "modern" in outlook, but
remarkably free in spirit and never savour of the type of
modernism that is little more than gilded pedanticism.

Mention must be made of MacDowell as a pianist. He was capable of
playing with remarkable swiftness of finger action, and his tone
production ranged from the most delicate refinement to overwhelming
floods of orchestral-like strength. In playing his larger works, he
loved to make his music sweep in great waves, and to introduce the
most wonderful contrasts and varieties of tone colour. At his
recitals he played other music besides his own, and became
distinguished as a pianist, although his interpretations were
always more personal than traditional.


The whole nature of MacDowell was singularly impressionable,
imaginative, idealistic and romantic. He loved the beauty,
grandeur and solemnity of Nature not only for its outward aspect,
but for what he thought it symbolised. His sensitive character
made him extremely sympathetic towards human nature, although he
never used his understanding of his fellow men to cultivate by
trickery or device their favour and praise. He loved and
idealised the ancient days of romance and chivalry, when men
lived the wonderful tales of heroism that are now discredited and
fading before the materialism of modern civilisation, and in this
respect he had an affinity with the English composer, Elgar. He
derived enjoyment from fairy tales and folk-lore, and these were
his apparent consolation in his tragic last years. He was a man
of rare qualities, noble, sincere and unselfish to an extreme. He
hated insincerity in any form, and if he had been more tolerant
in this respect his path would have often been easier. He had a
curious and charming love for the growing things and creatures of
the woods, and although an excellent shot, he could never enjoy
hunting or shooting, as it hurt him to kill birds or animals. He
abhorred the copying, by Americans, of European aristocratic
"sport," for the nobleness of his nature could not descend to the
vicious customs of those only noble by assumption or in title.
His intellectual bearing, his catholicity of tastes and his
learning presented a striking contrast to the narrow outlook and
brainlessness of the average high-brow type of musician, and in
this respect again he was like Elgar.

He dipped deeply into literature, both ancient and contemporary,
and was always working out aesthetic and philosophic problems
concerning music. His knowledge of his art would have done
justice to a learned academician, though this he certainly was
not, and he always held shrewdly formed opinions typical of his
countrymen, on subjects that interested him. He had a healthy
dislike of fashionable "at-homes" and dinner parties where music
is "adored" and "loved" by those who may have a good knowledge of
social matters, but who have little or no ability to comprehend
the deeper significance and power of the art. In fact one
suspects that they adopt high-class music chiefly in an attempt
to indicate an intellectual status they do not possess. For
sincere and able criticism, however, MacDowell always had respect
and interest, and he was always touched by what he thought was
honest praise and admiration. In quiet conversation he was the
most charming of men, but in social gatherings he was ill at
ease, and unable to take part in the tactful conversation and
studied courtesies of society that make for success. His
convictions were passionately idealistic, and he often stated
them with a bluntness and utter lack of diplomacy that would have
made Beethoven claim him as a brother; although MacDowell felt
none of that old giant's bitterness towards Society. Where
Beethoven felt contempt for even the praise of those he knew were
not great enough to understand him, MacDowell was merely
uncomfortable; both because he hated insincere attentions and
because his modesty would seldom allow him to believe that he
deserved even honest congratulations.[Note: When in London in
1903, MacDowell was asked to give some recitals from his
compositions, after the Philharmonic performance of his _D minor
Piano Concerto_, but on seeing the heavy recital list at Wigmore
(then Bechstein) Hall, he characteristically decided that nobody
would want to hear his music after all the other pianists had
played. His London publisher, Mr. W. Elkin. however, asked him to
come the following year, which he promised to do, but his fatal
illness intervened and he never saw England again.]

He was often sarcastic, with the humour of his countrymen, but
never bitter, and even when he was so cruelly misunderstood and
misrepresented about his Columbia resignation, he was more hurt
and disappointed than angry.

In his private life MacDowell's was a healthy, manly and robust
figure. He was fond of outdoor life, of riding and walking, and
of the homely hobbies of gardening, photography and carpentry. He
was fairly tall, broad-shouldered and powerfully built. His
features were strong and intellectual, but a captivating twinkle
and humour in his eyes and a frequent sweetness of expression
prevented his being stern or forbidding. He had a natural, noble
bearing and an unassuming, thoughtful dignity that often gave him
a look of command.

In short, MacDowell was as fine as a man as he was as a composer.
He loved the traditions of the great Republic whose born citizen
he was, and was hopeful of her future in all things, and for her art
he worked nobly and unselfishly. He suffered from discouragement in
an acute form, but worked steadily on with a simple, unshakable
faith in his divine gifts. At the height of his fame he was never
unapproachable, but always had a kindly thought for the struggling
student of limited means; and although his plans at Columbia
University were defeated, he gave free private lessons to poor
students of talent. His noble and unselfish action in this regard
has not often been equalled among past and present successful
musicians. MacDowell was very modest about his work, but he was
quite conscious of the greatness of his gifts, and he had the
ambition to make a name, not merely for his own sake, but also that
America might be able to hold up her head as proudly in music as she
does in other things.

The idea of purely personal fame seldom entered his head and when
it did it made him rather uncomfortable, but his belief that he
was gifted and destined to make a name for his country, sustained
him in the struggle against the endless drudgery that always
dogged the free use of his talents.

One of MacDowell's dearest wishes was that America should have a
musical public capable of judging in an intellectual, educated and
sincere manner the merits of music and musicians, uninfluenced by
traditions and reputations introduced from other countries. He
wanted Americans to encourage their own men in Music, Art and
Literature and not to respect a third-rate artist simply because
he came from a foreign country having traditions of culture. He
insisted on the American composer being treated on absolutely equal
terms with the foreigner and according to his merits.


This account of that remarkable haven for creative artists known
as the "MacDowell Colony," situated at Peterboro', New Hampshire,
U.S.A., about three hours from Boston, is a reprint of the
prospectus of the "Edward MacDowell Association." The Colony owes
a great debt to the untiring enthusiasm and energy of Mrs.
MacDowell, who also finds time to give frequent recitals in
various American cities of her late husband's music. In the
opinion of many who know of her work, she is only comparable to
Madame Schumann, in her practical devotion to her great husband's
music and to the realisation of his ideals.


Speaking of nationalism in music--and the remark holds true of
nationalism in all the arts--Edward MacDowell once said: "Before
a people can find a musical writer to echo its genius, it must
first possess men who truly represent the people, that is to say,
men who, being part of the people, love the country for itself,
and put into their music what the nation has put into its life."

When MacDowell defined the essentials of a characteristic
national culture, he did not know that his name would one day be
associated with an enterprise ideally fitted to supply these
essentials. MacDowell had a dream which he hoped might be
converted into reality. This dream was shaped by influences from
two different sources--an abandoned farm in New Hampshire and the
American Academy at Rome.

He was one of the trustees of the American Academy at Rome. In
this capacity he met intimately a remarkable group of men--John
W. Alexander, Augustus St. Gaudens, Richard Watson Gilder,
Charles McKim, and Frank D. Millet. Contact with these men proved
an inspiration to MacDowell and convinced him that there was
nothing more broadening to the worker in one art than affiliation
with workers in the other arts.

In 1895 MacDowell purchased an old farm in Peterborough. In the
deep woods, about ten minutes from the little farmhouse he built
a log cabin:

  "A house of dreams untold
  It looks out over the whispering tree-tops
  And faces the setting sun."

There he did much of his best work and there he liked to dream of
a day when other artists could work in just such beautiful and
peaceful surroundings. This is the dream that has come true.

Until MacDowell went to Peterborough he had worked under the
usual difficult conditions. During the winter he lived in the
city amidst noisy surroundings; in the summer he went the rounds
of country hotels and boarding-houses. Even the comparative
independence of his own house never gave him the quiet and
isolation that he craved at times, for there is no household
whose wheels can be instantly adjusted to the needs of one
member. For years MacDowell tried one makeshift after another
until at last in the Log Cabin he found exactly what he needed.

During the last year of MacDowell's life a society was
incorporated under the name of the Edward MacDowell Memorial
Association. The purpose of the society was to establish in
America a fitting memorial to the work and life of the American
composer along lines of MacDowell's own suggestion. A sum of
about thirty thousand dollars had been raised for MacDowell's
benefit. This amount was entrusted to the Association. Mrs.
MacDowell deeded to the Association the farm at Peterborough and
the contents of MacDowell's home. The Association at once
undertook the development of what has since become known as the
"Peterborough idea" and before MacDowell's death had actually
established, in a modest way, a Colony for Creative Artists.


In an article in the North American Review, Edwin Arlington
Robinson writes: "It is practically impossible for me to say,
even to myself, just what there is about this place that compels
a man to work out the best that there is in him and to be
discontented if he fails to do so. The abrupt and somewhat
humiliating sense of isolation, liberty, and opportunity which
overtakes one each morning has something to do with it, but this
sense of opportunity does not in itself explain everything ...
The MacDowell Colony is in all probabilities about the worst
place in which to conceal one's lack of a creative faculty."

There is nothing camp-like about the place either in appearance
or in manner of life. There are comfortable living houses for the
men and women with all the conveniences of running water,
electric light, and telephone. A common dining room is in Colony
Hall. Here good wholesome food is served as it would be in any
well-managed household. This much for the creature comforts. For
the other and the more important side of Colony life there are
fifteen individual studios scattered here and there through the

The daily routine of life in the Colony is somewhat as follows:
After breakfast there is a quick scattering of the residents as
each one hurries off to his studio. It may be recalled here what
an important place MacDowell's Log Cabin plays in this scheme,
and how the idea has been to reproduce for as many people as
might be in the Colony conditions similar to those MacDowell
enjoyed--a comfortable home and an isolated workshop. Each one of
the fifteen studios is out of sound and sight of the others. In
order that the writer or painter may not be disturbed by the
sound of a piano, the composers' studios are as isolated as
possible. All the studios have open fireplaces and pleasant
verandahs and are furnished simply but always attractively. Each
studio has been planned for its own particular site. Some are
hidden in the woods, some command views of Monadnock or East
Mountain, and some long vistas through the trees.

In order that the working day may be long and uninterrupted, at
noon a basket lunch is left at each studio. Dinner is the time
for relaxation and social intercourse. Long pleasant evenings are
passed in the big living room of Colony Hall which is also the
library, or in the Regina Watson Studio which is near Colony Hall
and in the evening is used as a general music room, or in
leisurely walks to the village.

It should perhaps be added that daily life in the Colony is not
the cut and dried affair that this quick resume might seem to
imply. No one, of course, is required to stay in his studio all
day. No one is required to do anything. These artists are
independent men and women, not supervised students, and to all
intents they are as free as the wind. There are only two rules to
which every one must conform. One is that the studios, with the
one exception of the music-room, shall not be used at night. The
reason for this rule is the danger of fire. The other rule is that
no one shall visit another's studio without invitation. The purpose
of this rule is protection against unexpected interruptions. In all
other ways the colonist is free to do as he pleases--free except
for that irresistible compulsion to work which nobody who lives in
the Colony can escape. For, as Mr. Robinson says, the Colony is
"the worst loafing place in the world."


A curious distrust of idealistic enterprises prevails in the
world even among people whose own life work is idealistic. This
distrust the MacDowell Colony has had to fight from the start. It
has had to prove that its ideals are practical. It has had to
demonstrate this to the very workers for whom it was founded and
who should from their own experience have clearly understood the
advantages it offers.

Gradually, in the face of discouraging skepticism and in spite of
inadequate equipment, it has won recognition and support. Its
triumph over initial obstacles is best illustrated by the extent
to which it has grown and by the number of earnest art workers
who have availed themselves of its opportunities.

Starting with MacDowell's home, his Log Cabin, and two hundred
acres of land, the Colony now has five hundred acres of land,
including three hundred and fifty acres of forest and a farm in
good cultivation, well equipped farm buildings, fifteen studios,
and five dwelling houses. There is also Colony Hall, a very large
barn which through the generosity of Mrs. Benjamin Prince is
being converted into a beautiful building. Colony Hall is the
social centre of the Colony. The John W. Alexander Memorial
Building, to be used for summer exhibitions of paintings and
sculptures, is now under construction and will soon be completed.
The Colony has also amassed equipment of another sort including
the splendid Cora Dow library of some three thousand volumes and
a most valuable collection of scores and costumes. Furthermore a
superb open air theatre for outdoor festivals of music and drama
has lately been completed. The beautiful stadium seats of this
theatre are a gift from the National Federation of Musical Clubs.

Such growth in the physical plant of any enterprise is evidence
enough of an actual, tangible success. The number of artists who
have availed themselves of the advantages offered by the Colony
are proof of another kind of success.


It should be clearly understood that the MacDowell Colony is in
no sense a philanthropic enterprise. Although it does strive as
far as possible to lower the barriers which lack of means so
often places in the path of talent, yet it is not intended
primarily for the impecunious. The qualification for admission to
the Colony is talent. A prospective colonist must either have
some fine achievement to his credit, or be possessed of a talent
for which two recognized artists in his own field are willing to

The directors of the Association consider that it is a sound
economic policy to offer the advantages of the Colony at a
nominal price. They look upon the amount paid by the residents
for board and lodging as the directors of a university look upon
the tuition fees paid by the students. These fees are as much as
the students can be expected to pay, yet they do not go far
toward defraying the entire expenses of the university. The real
return to be made by the student is that later contribution to
society which in all likelihood will be more important on account
of his years of study in the university. Similarly the directors
of the Association are carrying on their undertaking for the
enrichment of American Art and Letters. Like the university, the
Colony must have either public or private support.

In a civilization like ours where the social significance of
creative art is not yet popularly recognized, support for an
enterprise like the MacDowell Colony cannot be expected from the
government. Such support must come from individuals.

This is the reason why the directors of the MacDowell Association
are appealing at this time to the friends and patrons of American
art to help them raise an endowment of two hundred thousand
dollars. Up to the present most of the necessary funds have been
raised through the personal efforts of Mrs. MacDowell. The
Directors feel that the time has come when her strength, never
very great, must be more carefully conserved by lifting from her
shoulders this very heavy financial burden. The Colony has had an
amazing twelve years of life. Shall its future be threatened by
lack of permanent income?


The name of the Edward MacDowell Memorial Association has been
changed to the Edward MacDowell Association, Incorporated. The
use of the word _Memorial_ has sometimes given people the
mistaken idea that the work of the Association was in the nature
of propaganda for the MacDowell music. MacDowell's work is

His music has long since spoken for itself and has gained
whatever hearing it deserves. The concern of the Association is
for contemporary work and for the future of American art in all
its branches--this and nothing else.

[Illustration: Handwritten Letter.]

To the Hof-Capellmeister Dr. Haase, Darmstadt,

19th Oct., 1885.


I permit myself to address you in the hope that you may perhaps
feel inclined to have a little work of mine listed on a
convenient occasion at a theatre. The Opus would take _at most_
15-20 minutes in performance. Tune and scores are throughout
clearly and correctly copied.

You would infinitely oblige me if you would have the great
kindness to grant my request.

In the hope of receiving your early and favourable answer,

I am,

With great respect,

Yours gratefully,




_NOTE_.--_In the British Empire, the more important of
MacDowell's pianoforte pieces and songs published in America by
Arthur P. Schmidt are obtainable from Elkin & Co., Ltd_., 8 & 10,
_Beak Street, London, W.I., who issue a list of the composer's
works they sell. Other MacDowell compositions are mostly
obtainable through J. & W. Chester, Ltd_., II _Great Marlborough
Street, London, W.I. Ops_. 24, 28 & 31 _are issued by Winthrop
Rogers, Ltd_., 18, _Berners Street, London, W.I. In America,
Arthur P. Schmidt for all MacDowell works_.


Destroyed by the Composer.


_First Published_, 1894. (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Deserted_.

  2. _Slumber Song_.

The _Two Old Songs, Op. 9_, head the list of MacDowell's
published works with opus numbers. Their position in it, however,
is somewhat misleading to the casual observer of the composer's
artistic development, for they are the fruits of a mature period
and were given the opus number they bear only as a matter of
convenience. They were composed about ten or eleven years after
the songs of Ops. 11 and 12, which in comparison with the _Two
Old, Songs_ are weak and devoid of individuality and originality.
The _Two Old Songs_ are very beautiful and expressive, exhibiting
the composer's melodic gift.

_Deserted_ is a setting of Robert Burns's lines, "Ye banks and
braes o' bonnie Doon." It is one of the most expressive of
MacDowell's songs, being full of deep and very human pathos. The
melody is one of the most poignant he set down, but it is
subjected to repetition that becomes monotonous. The song is
expressively indicated _Slow: With pathos, yet simply_.

_Slumber Song_ is a setting of some of the composer's own lines,
"Dearest, sleep sound." The song presents a fairly good mating of
words and music, and its expression is a lovable one, inimitably
MacDowell-like in effect.


_Composed, Frankfort, 1880. First Played, July 11th, 1882, by the
composer, at the Ninth Annual Convention of the General Society
of German Musicians, held at Zurich.

First Published, 1883_ (Breitkopf & Härtel).

_Dedicated to Mrs. Joachim Raff_.

  1. _Præludium_.

  2. _Presto_.

  3. _Andantino and Allegretto_.

  4. _Intermezzo_.

  5. _Rhapsody_.

  6. _Fugue_.

The first public performance of this suite was secured by Liszt,
whom MacDowell had interviewed and who was entrusted with the
making up of the programmes of the General Society of German
Musicians at that time. It was on Liszt's recommendation, too,
that this suite and its successor, the _Second Modern Suite for
Pianoforte, Op. 14_, were published by Breitkopf and Härtel at
Leipzig. The _First Modern Suite_ is of comparatively little
importance to-day as music, but it is well written and interesting
as an early work by MacDowell. Some significance may be attached
to the fact that we find two movements of the suite bearing
quotations showing their source of inspiration and suggesting
their poetic content. Suggestive titles and verses are an
outstanding feature of all MacDowell's later and finest works.
Two movements of the suite were first heard in London in March,
1885, at a concert composed of American music.


_First Published_, 1883 (C.F. Kahnt Nachfolger. British
Empire--Elkin & Co.).

  1. _My Love and I_ (_Op. 11, No. 1_).

  2. _You Love Me Not!_ (_Op. 11, No. 2_).

  3. _In the Sky, where Stars are Glowing_ (_Op. 11, No. 3_).

  4. _Night Song_ (_Op. 12, No. 1_).

  5. _The Chain of Roses_ (_Op. 12, No. 2_).

These songs are interesting as the first examples published of
MacDowell's work in this form of composition. They are well
written and obviously sincere, which is in itself a merit rare in
song writing, but they have little of the individual charm and
beauty of expression found in the composer's later song groups.
_My Love and I_ is the most popular of the set, having a certain
distinctive charm of its own.


_First Published_, 1883. (Revised Edition--Arthur P. Schmidt).

This is a well-written number in conventional form, but it is
obviously foreign to MacDowell's temperament, which was only at
its best in subjects having some definite poetical basis. The
work was later revised by the composer, and while quite a good
example of its form, as a MacDowell work it is unconvincing.


_Composed, Frankfort-Darmstadt_, 1881. _First Published_, 1883
(Breitkopf & Härtel).

_Dedicated to Camille Saint-Saens._

  1. _Præludium_.

  2. _Fugato_.

  3. _Rhapsody_.

  4. _Scherzino_.

  5. _March_.

  6. _Fantastic Dance_.

Much of this music was composed in the makeshift studio of a
German railway carriage, while the composer was travelling to and
fro to give lessons, between Frankfort and Darmstadt and from one
of these to Erbach-Fürstenau, the latter place entailing a
typically tiring Continental journey. The suite, like its
predecessor, the _First Modern Suite for Pianoforte, Op. 10_, was
published at Leipzig by Breitkopf and Härtel on the recommendation
of Liszt. The music is of little importance to-day, although it is
melodious and well written. The opening _Præludium_ foreshadows
the composer's later regard for significance of expression, for it
bears an explanatory quotation from Byron's _Manfred_. Teresa
Carreño, the masculine woman pianist, from whom MacDowell had
received one or two early lessons in pianoforte playing, performed
the _Suite_ in New York City on March 8th, 1884, and toured three
movements of it in the following year, in other parts of the United


_Composed, Frankfort_, 1882. _First Published_, 1885 (Breitkopf &

_Dedicated to Franz Liszt._

  1. _Maestoso, Allegro con fuoco._

  2. _Andante Tranquillo._

  3. _Presto_--_Maestoso_--_Molto piu lento_--_Presto_.

Joachim Raff frightened MacDowell into composing this concerto.
He called on his young American pupil one day and asked him what
he had in hand? MacDowell, who stood in great awe of his master,
was confused and hardly knowing what he was saying replied that
he "was working at a concerto." Raff told him to bring it along
on the following Sunday, but when that day arrived MacDowell had
only the first movement completed, which had been commenced as
soon as Raff had left him. He evaded his appointment, and his
master named the following Sunday for their meeting, but
MacDowell's visit had to be further postponed until the following
Tuesday, and by that day he had finished the concerto. On Raff's
advice he took the work to Liszt, arranging a second pianoforte
part for the purpose. The old master received him kindly and
asked D'Albert, who was present, to play the second pianoforte.
At the finish he not only complimented MacDowell on his
composition, but on his ability as a pianist, which pleased the
young American immensely, for he had not yet come to regard his
compositions as of any value, and pianoforte playing was his
first study. Afterwards MacDowell wrote to Liszt asking him to
accept the dedication of the concerto, which the venerable
Hungarian did.

The _First Pianoforte Concerto_ hardly ranks as one of
MacDowell's finest works, it having been written before he had
attained, in any notable degree, to his mature impressionist
style. It is, however, brilliantly written, bold and original in
harmonic treatment and full of youthful fire and vigour. With the
second concerto (_Op. 23_), it is one of his few large works not
having some definitely indicated poetic content. If it has not
the significant expression of its greater successors, it has at
least a strength and fervency that indicate a youthful genius of
no common order. Its interest is not of mere historic value as an
early example of MacDowell's work, for it can be performed to-day
with success. It has a lasting white heat of inspiration and even
in the light of the composer's greater works it still sounds
remarkably brilliant and fresh. The influence of Teutonic
training is evident and although the concerto cannot now be
considered as thoroughly representative of MacDowell, it has a
confident bearing and a certain individuality that mark it as
something considerably more than a mere academic experiment. It
must always be remembered, however, that a two-page piece from
_Sea Pieces, Op. 55_, or _New England Idyls, Op. 62_, or any
mature work by MacDowell is of greater artistic value than the
whole of the concerto in question.


_First Published_, 1883. (Revised Edition--Arthur P. Schmidt.)

This is a weak and unimportant work in MacDowell's catalogue. The
conventional _morceau_ style did not suit his type of genius even
before it was fully developed. Some years later the composer
revised the piece, but it is still of little value, despite its
outward grace and charm.


_First Published_, 1884 (J. Hainauer). (Revised Edition of No.
2--Arthur P. Schmidt.)

  1. _Legend._

  2. _Witches' Dance_ (_Hexentanz_).

The _Legend_ is interesting and by stretching the imagination may
suggest some fantastic fairy tale, but its chief merit is that it
is more in keeping with MacDowell's natural gift for musical
suggestion than are the preceding pianoforte pieces, and also the
succeeding ones comprising _Op. 18_.

The _Witches' Dance_ became popular with pianoforte virtuosi,
being better known under its German title of _Hexentanz_.
MacDowell grew to detest its shallow outlook and the appeal it
made to the flashy pianist, although he himself played it in
public as late as 1891. He revised both the _Two Fantastic
Pieces_ some years after their original publication.


_First Published_, 1884 (J. Hainauer). (Revised Edition of No.
1--Arthur P. Schmidt.)

  1. _Barcarolle in F._

  2. _Humoresque in A._

These are two more unimportant pieces in conventional style,
indicating that MacDowell had not realized at that time just
where his true genius lay. The revised version of _Barcarolle_
made some years after its original publication, fails to make it
convincing, although it has a certain outward charm and is well
written in the particular style of piece of which it is an
example. Poetic significance, as we know it in MacDowell's
representative works, is conspicuous by its absence in these two


_First Published_, 1884. New Edition, 1912 (C. F. Kahnt
Nachfolger. British Empire--Elkin & Co.).

_Dedicated to Miss Marian Nevins._

  1. _Forest Stillness._

  2. _Play of the Nymphs._

  3. _Rêverie._

  4. _Dance of the Dryads._

These pieces are noteworthy as early attempts at significant
expression and the consequent foreshadowing of MacDowell's mature
period. Their suggesting of their particular subjects as
indicated in the titles is fairly well done, but they are of
little importance as music, reflecting as they do the nineteenth
century German romanticism that had already been fully exploited
by Schumann and others. There is little of the individuality of
MacDowell in any of the _Forest Idyls_. The dedication is
interesting, for Miss Marian Nevins became Mrs. MacDowell in the
year of the original publication of the pieces. The revised
edition of _Forest Idyls_ now in circulation in England is by
Robert Teichmüller, and was issued in 1912. MacDowell himself
revised the _Rêverie_ (No. 3) and the _Dance of the Dryads_ (No.
4) in his later period, and these are published in America by
Arthur P. Schmidt.

1. _Forest Stillness_ is an _Adagio_, opening with softly
breathed chords _misterioso_. The effect is one of deep
stillness, but soon becomes dull and burdensome, seeming to lack
that touch of genius found in the composer's later works, which
are able to preserve their interest throughout.

2. _Play of the Nymphs_ is technically clever and brilliant, but
lacks interest and is too spun out.

3. _Reverie_ is a short and tuneful little piece with little or
nothing MacDowell-like in it and much of nineteenth century
German romanticism and harmonies. It has been arranged for
orchestra, and for pianoforte and strings.

4. _Dance of the Dryads_ would doubtless attract lovers of the
Sydney Smith type of salon music, if there are any of them left.
It opens in quite a bewitching dance manner and then goes on
tinkling away on top notes, with chromatic runs, half floating
arpeggios and all the rest of the stock-in-trade of pretty salon
music. There are, however, some rather characteristic touches in
it, which distinguish it from its companions. The key transitions
from A flat major through distant D major and then F sharp major
in bars 22, 23 and 24 (Teichmüller 1912 Edition) respectively are
quite personal.


_Composed, Winter_, 1884-5. _First Published_, 1886 (J.

  1. _Nights at Sea._

  2. _Tale of the Knights._

  3. _Ballade._

Like the _Forest Idyls, Op. 19_, these pieces have a definite
poetic basis, but are conceived in a manner that only slightly
suggests the individuality of the composer. They are quite
musical and well written for a pianoforte duet, but lack the
sustained interest one expects to find in MacDowell's work.


_Composed, Winter_, 1884-5. _First Published_, 1886 (J.

  1. _The Hindoo Maiden._

  2. _Stork's Story._

  3. _In Tyrol._

  4. _The Swan._

  5. _Visit of the Bear._

The titles of these pieces are quite characteristic of MacDowell,
and are early indications of his love of the imaginative and
fanciful atmosphere of fairy tales. The pieces were originally
intended to form a suite for orchestra, but the opportunity arose
to have them printed as pianoforte duets and the composer was not
in a financial position to refuse the offer. Unfortunately he
destroyed the orchestral sketches. The _Moon Pictures_ are as a
whole charming and imaginative in conception, and represent the
fancies of the immortal Hans Andersen, although they are far from
being truly representative of MacDowell as we now know him.


_Composed, Frankfort, Winter_, 1884-5. _First Published_, 1885
(J. Hainauer).

_Dedicated to Henry Irving and Ellen Terry._

With the appearance of _Hamlet and Ophelia_ MacDowell found his
reputation considerably increasing. The work was performed in a
number of German towns soon after its first appearance, and
within a year following its publication the _Ophelia_ section was
performed in the composer's native city, New York. In the year
following this latter event, the _Hamlet_ section was played in
the same city. The first complete performance at Boston, Mass.,
was on January 28th, 1893, the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing
with Nikisch as conductor. _Hamlet and Ophelia_ really consists
of two separate poems for orchestra, and was first published in
that form, but MacDowell himself afterwards authorised its
alteration into one work, and he named it _First Symphonic Poem_.
The piece is not an altogether unworthy product of his genius. It
bears unmistakable evidence of Teutonic influence, but there is a
certain originality of thought and a freshness of spirit about it
that make for serious work. It was by far the most important of
MacDowell's music up to this period, for in addition to a skill
and brilliance of harmonic and orchestral colouring, it has a
depth of feeling and fuller exposition of personality than its
predecessors. It has a sense of romance, a beauty of melodic
outline and an attempted justification of title that are, at
least, sincerely effected, and although it is far from being one
of its author's representative works, it must be remembered that
he was but twenty-four years of age at its completion. As a
youthful achievement it is very fine, the creation of a gifted,
though immature, tone poet, and full of a promise that the future
was to amply fulfil. The title and dedication of the work are
interesting, and both indicate its link with the English dramatic
world. The performance of the English Shakespearian actors, Sir
Henry Irving and Ellen Terry, inspired MacDowell whilst in London
in 1884, on his honeymoon trip with Mrs. MacDowell.


_Probably Commenced Early in 1885 at Frankfort. Completed at
Wiesbaden the same year._

_First Performance in New York City, March 5th 1889, at
Chickering Hall, by the Composer and Orchestra Conducted by
Theodore Thomas._

_First Published_, 1890 (Breitkopf & Härtel).

_Dedicated to Teresa Carreño._

  1. _Larghetto calmato_--_Poco piu mosso._

  2. _Presto giocoso._

  3. _Largo_--_molto Allegro, etc._

This is the most frequently played of MacDowell's two concertos
for pianoforte. It is much the finer of the two, being constructed
with greater skill and artistic confidence than the _First
Concerto, Op. 15_, and of all the works of MacDowell's early
period it is the most enduring. Like its predecessor, it is
one of the composer's few compositions that have no definitely
indicated poetic content. As a whole it is a work full of
feeling, brilliantly cohesive and logical, with good material
that is handled with confident skill, but it is not to be
compared with even the small works of the composer's mature
period, which commences with his _Opus_ 47. Its character,
however, is altogether strong and virile, containing many
passages of pure tonal beauty and eloquent expressiveness. The
orchestra is written for with skill and imagination and is on
equal terms with the solo instrument. The only fault of the work
is that its pianoforte part is far too continuously brilliant.

The concerto was enthusiastically received on MacDowell's first
performances of it in New York in March, 1889, and in Boston a
month later. On July 12th of the same year he played it in Paris.
His playing of it at a concert of the New York Philharmonic
Society on December 14th, 1894, was a memorable one and created a
furore, and he not only had to bow several times after each
movement, but at the end was given a storm of cheering and
recalled again and again to receive the acknowledgments of the
Philharmonic audience, which could be very critical when occasion
demanded. On May 14th, 1903, MacDowell visited London and played
the concerto at a concert given by the venerable Royal Philharmonic
Society held at Queen's Hall. The work had been first played in
London (Crystal Palace) three years previously, by Carreño.


_Composed, Wiesbaden, Early Summer_, 1887.

_First Published_, 1887 (J. Hainauer. British Empire--Winthrop
Rogers, Ltd.).

  1. _Humoresque._

  2. _March._

  3. _Cradle Song._

  4. _Czardas_ (_Friska_).

The interval of time between the preceding work and these pieces
is explained by the fact that MacDowell and his wife had been
travelling, and the latter had passed through a dangerous illness
at Wiesbaden. The _Four Pieces for Pianoforte_ (__ 24) were among
the first productions of the composer after his return to
Wiesbaden, and date from that delightful period when he lived
with his wife in a cottage in the woods, some way from the town.
The pieces under notice are tuneful and well written, but quite
devoid of the individuality that distinguishes the composer's
later works. The brilliant _Czardas_ was revised by MacDowell in
his later period.


_Composed, Wiesbaden_, 1887-8. _First American Performance at
Boston, Mass., January 10th_, 1890, _at a Symphony Concert
Conducted by Nikisch. First Published_, 1888 (J. Hainauer).

_Dedicated to Templeton Strong._

MacDowell was not long in returning to the domain of symphonic
music, the _First Symphonic Poem_, _Hamlet and Ophelia, Op. 22_,
and the _Second Pianoforte Concerto, Op. 23_, having been
composed only about two or three years previously and separated
from it in order of opus number merely by a group of unimportant
piano pieces comprising _Op. 24_. _Lancelot and Elaine_ has its
poetical basis in the legends of King Arthur's days, which
MacDowell loved to read about and idealize. The work as a whole
follows Tennyson's poem and is essentially programme music. It is
impressively scored, rich and sonorous in harmonic treatment and
full of strikingly vivid and expressive poetical feeling. The
brilliance of the tournament; the loveliness of Elaine; the
nobleness of Lancelot; the scene of the maiden's funeral barge
floating down the river, and the knight's ensuing grief--all are
graphically illustrated in MacDowell's tone poem. The work
embraces moods and colours from brilliant exhilaration to
sombreness and poignant emotion. The climaxes are stirring and
coherent, and in many places the music really attains to a
considerable amount of dramatic power, contrasted by passages of
infinitely expressive tenderness. The whole thing was evidently
composed in a state of fervent inspiration and the feeling of
Teutonic influence, which was still over MacDowell at that time,
is forgotten in the power and beauty of his tone poetry, already
becoming individual and distinct from that of other composers.


_Composed, Wiesbaden_, 1887. _First Published_, 1887 (G.

  1. _The Pansy._

  2. _The Myrtle._

  3. _The Clover._

  4. _The Yellow Daisy._

  5. _The Bluebell._

  6. _The Mignonette._

These songs are purely lyrical and are quite delightful examples
of MacDowell's work in this form, which he was to afterwards
uphold as a beautiful medium for song writing. They are not quite
of his very best output, but make charming solo numbers and are
free from vocal emotionalism. Many flower songs of other
composers are harnessed to highly emotional subjects and tend to
become love-songs, MacDowell's songs are a welcome relief in
their purely lyrical outlook. It will be noticed that the titles
of the songs in this group are all of the simple type of flowers
such as he loved, the gaudy, heavy and carefully cultivated
blossoms being conspicuous by their absence. It will serve no
purpose here to suggest which of the songs is the best, for each
has its own particular charm and it is more a matter of taste and
fancy than judgment as to which are the favourites.


_Composed, Wiesbaden_, 1887. _First Published_, 1890 (Arthur P.

  1. _In the Starry Sky Above Us._

  2. _Springtime._

  3. _The Fisher-boy._

These are spirited and well written part-songs. They contain
expressive matter and make good and contrasting numbers for
male-voice choirs. The fact that they savour of the influence of
the German romantic school does not detract from their general
merit, although they are not truly MacDowell-like.


_Composed, Wiesbaden_, 1887. _First Published_, 1887 (J. Hainauer.
Revised Edition--Arthur P. Schmidt. British Empire--Winthrop
Rogers, Ltd.).

  1. _In the Woods_.

  2. _Siesta_.

  3. _To the Moonlight_.

  4. _Silver Clouds_.

  5. _Flute Idyl_.

  6. _The Bluebell_.

These pieces were suggested to the composer by lines by the
German poet, Goethe. The music attempts to suggest the various
scenes indicated by the verses quoted at the head of each piece.
It is an advance on the preceding small pieces for pianoforte,
and foreshadows the later MacDowell of inimitable poetic
suggestion in music. The whole set was later revised by the
composer in his mature period, and in this form they are
acceptable, but even now not satisfying to those who are
acquainted with his greater work.


_Commenced, Wiesbaden_, 1888. _Completed, Boston,_ _Winter,_
1888-9. _First Published_, 1908 (_Posthumously_) (Arthur P.
Schmidt). _Dedicated to Henry T. Finck_.

MacDowell refrained from publishing this work because he had been
unable to try it over in America with an orchestra, as he had
been able to do in Germany with his earlier symphonic works, and
he was not altogether certain of its effect. He, however,
published his two later suites for orchestra, Ops. 42 and 48,
with confidence.

The chief demerit of _Lamia_ is that it is obviously influenced
by the music of Wagner, and has but little of MacDowell's
customary individual expression. Apart from this defect, however,
it is undoubtedly effective, strongly and well written, and
interestingly scored. MacDowell himself considered it at least
the equal of his two earlier symphonic poems, _Hamlet and
Ophelia, Op. 22_, and _Lancelot and Elaine, Op. 25_, and intended
revising it. The work was published after his death by friends
who were anxious to provide against any future doubt as to its
authenticity. The composer dedicated it to Henry T. Finck, the
distinguished American musical critic, who was one of the first
to recognise the significance of MacDowell's music.

_Lamia_ has its poetic basis in the romantic, legendary poem by
John Keats. An introductory note by the composer in the full
score briefly outlines the meaning of the music:--

_Lamia, an enchantress in the form of a serpent, loves Lycius, a
young Corinthian. In order to win him she prays to Hermes, who
answers her appeal by transforming her into a lovely maiden.
Lycius meets her in the wood, is smitten with love for her and
goes with her to her enchanted palace, where the wedding is
celebrated with great splendour. But suddenly Apollonius the
magician appears; he reveals the magic. Lamia again assumes the
form of a serpent, the enchanted palace vanishes, and Lycius is
found lifeless._

The music commences with a sinister theme, _Lento misterioso, con
tristezza_, given out by bassoon and celli, accompanied by a soft
drum roll. This motive is the main one of the work, and may be
regarded as that of Lamia. After some impassioned development,
the music leads quietly into an _Allegro con fuoco_. This opens
with a strong tune, having a distinctly Teutonic flavour. It is
announced by the horns _con sordini_, accompanied very softly by
held notes in the strings, except viola, _pizzicato_ in the
celli, and tympani. From now onwards the music is graphic, and
contains some passages of unmistakable dramatic power. The
presence of the sinister opening theme is frequently felt. Near
the end the whole sinks away, a plaintive little clarinet solo,
_Lento_, indicating the death of Lycius. This is followed by a
short and vigorous conclusion.


_Composed, Wiesbaden, about_ 1887-8. _First Performed, November,_
1891, _at Boston, U.S.A., by Listemann and the Boston Philharmonic
Orchestra. First Published_, 1891 (Breitkopf & Härtel).

These two orchestral pieces have their poetic basis in _The Song
of Roland_, and were at first intended by the composer to form
movements, or at least important parts, of a symphony on the same
subject. The description, _Fragments_, under which MacDowell
published them, after his plan for a symphony had been abandoned,
is a very modest one for two such fine pieces of orchestral tone
poetry. _The Saracens_ is a piece of great power, dramatic and
wild in spirit and vivid in harmonic and instrumental colouring.
It represents the scene in which the traitor, Ganelon, determines
on the deed that results in the death of Roland. The whole
passage is vividly suggested by the music.

_The Lovely Alda_ is a very beautiful and human piece. Aldâ was
Roland's bethrothed and the music aims at suggesting her
loveliness and her mourning for her lover. There are passages of
intensely impressive melancholy in the _Fragment_ and its human
feeling is typical of MacDowell. Altogether the two pieces are
music on a high plane and worth attention for their own intrinsic
value, quite apart from their connection with the symphony that
never materialised. They bear a stamp of seriousness of effort
and a conscious responsibility that only the really great
composer is able to indicate.


_Composed, Wiesbaden_, 1887. _First Published_, 1887 (J. Hainauer.
Revised Edition--Arthur P. Schmidt. British Empire--Winthrop
Rogers, Ltd.).

  1. _We Sat by the Fisherman's Cottage._

  2. _Far Away, on the Rock-coast of Scotland._ (Scotch poem.)

  3. _My Child, We Were Once Children._

  4. _We Travelled Alone in the Gloomy Post-chaise._

  5. _Shepherd Boy's a King._

  6. _Death Nothing is but Cooling Night._ (_Poeme érotique_.)

Certain of these pieces, in the edition revised by the composer,
are rather good, and are full of suggestive effort. They have,
too, a touch of the composer's individuality about them, although
not of his greater kind. The pianoforte writing is well done and
effective, but lacks the sweep of line and power of the later
works. As a whole, however, the _Six Poems after Heine_ are quite
creditable and self contained pieces, each number bearing some
Heine verses indicating its poetic basis.

The first piece is contemplative and contains some distinctly
MacDowell-like harmonic touches.

The second graphically depicts the raging sea of the rocky coast
of Scotland, a grey old castle and a beautiful, but ailing, woman
harpist, whose gloomy song goes out into the storm. The music is
powerful and picturesque in the storm passages, while the sad
Scottish song of the woman adds vivid local colour to the whole.

The third number is rather poor and devoid of any real interest.

The journey in the post-chaise is told fairly graphically in the
fourth piece. The music is not very interesting, although its
hurried progress suggests the monotony of travel in a rumbling
vehicle on a night journey.

The fifth piece is lovely and tender, but not particularly
expressive. The last of the set opens with a noble, half-sad
melody that is typical of MacDowell. Its agitated middle section
provides a good contrast.

Two of the poems were played in orchestral garb for the first
time in England at a London Queen's Hall Promenade Concert on
October 3rd, 1916. They were No. 6, _Poeme érotique_, and No. 2,
_Scotch Poem_.


_Composed, Wiesbaden, about_ 1888. _Revised by the Composer_,
1906. _Copyrighted_ 1894 _and_ 1906 (Breitkopf & Härtel).

  1. _The Eagle._

  2. _The Brook._

  3. _Moonshine._

  4. _Winter._

These pieces are, in their revised version, more individual and
more worth playing than any of the preceding small pianoforte
works by MacDowell. They have his true ring and stamp, although
even here not in its most highly-developed form, and they
exemplify his already unerring power to create atmospheres of
far-reaching significance, even in tiny spaces, for all four
poems are but two-page pieces, and the most striking, _The
Eagle_, is but twenty-six bars in length.

1. _The Eagle_ is a tone picture of Tennyson's lines:--

  _He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
  Close to the sun in lonely lands,
  Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

  The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
  He watches from his mountain walls,
  And like a thunderbolt he falls._

The opening high, wind-swept chords; the succeeding
softly-breathed, high chromatics, with the deep-voiced bass,
creating an atmosphere of the vast loneliness of wild mountain
heights; the gradual descent to spell-binding silence and then
the startling shriek and swoop down of the eagle--all these are
suggested in this tiny piece with unmistakable power. _The Eagle_
is remarkable for its programme music aspect in the light of
MacDowell's later works, for in these it is perfected suggestion
and not realism that we find.

2. _The Brook_ is a clever little piece, delicate and refined. It
begins with lovable simplicity, which is broken for a time by an
expressive and characteristic passage marked _sotto voce_. The
piece as a whole has for its motto Bulwer's lines:--

  _Gay below the cowslip bank, see the billow dances;
  There I lay, beguiling time--when I liv'd romances;
  Dropping pebbles in the wave, fancies into fancies._

3. _Moonshine_ opens softly with a broad and dignified melody. The
expression soon becomes tender, but is interspersed with jocular
little passages. MacDowell illustrates in his characteristic
manner a lonely tramp at night, with the grotesque streaks of the
moonlight breaking quaintly into the pedestrian's contemplative
mood. The music is curiously lonely and suggestive of a quiet
moonlight night in the country. Particularly lovable are the soft,
characteristic chord progressions, followed by lonely silence, on
the second page, just before the opening melody returns. The
piece ends with the moon kissing the traveller good-night.

4. _Winter_ is a piece of deep feeling, quite haunting in its
expression of lonely grief. Its motto is taken from some lines by

  _A widow bird sate mourning for her love
  Upon a wintry bough;
  The frozen wind crept on above,
  The freezing stream below.

  There was no leaf upon the forest bare,
  No flower upon the ground,
  And little motion in the air
  Except the mill-wheel's round._

The music is of the kind that remains in the memory for a long
time and is of a quality as moving in its sadness as anything
MacDowell ever composed. Its suggested scene seems to be the
bleak and icy winter of North America.


_Composed, Wiesbaden_, 1888. _First Published_, 1894 (J.
Hainauer. Revised Edition of Nos. 2 & 3--Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Prayer._

  2. _Cradle Hymn._

  3. _Idyl._

These songs are rather beautiful, and sincerely, although not
grandly, inspired. They are probably the least known in America
and England of MacDowell's songs, but they do not lack a fine,
spiritual outlook.


_Composed_, 1888. _First Published_, 1889 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Menie._

  2. _My Jean._

These two songs are full of freshness and charm of expression.
_Menie_ is a beautiful song; _My Jean_ is, however, the more
important of the two, it is inspired and characteristically human
in spirit. Neither of these songs, however, can be compared for
spontaneous beauty and expression with MacDowell's later groups.


_Composed, Wiesbaden_, 1888. _First Published_, 1888 (J.

_Dedicated to David Popper._

This is an outwardly charming and melodious work, but strangely
alien to MacDowell's general high tone. The usual significant
poetic matter is absent, but unlike the pianoforte concertos
(_Ops._ 15 and 23), which are also abstract works, the piece is
altogether inferior in artistic value, even if we look upon it as
an early attempt, for preceding pieces are, at least, more
sincere. The two following numbers, 36 (_Etude de Concert for
Pianoforte_) and 37 (_Les Orientales for Pianoforte_), and this
_Romance for Violoncello and Orchestra_ present a sequence of
creative work unworthy of MacDowell, a falling off common to most
composers of standing at some time or other. The technical side
of the work is fair, the tone quality of the violoncello having
been evidently considered. The piece is dedicated to Popper,
whose name is familiar to all 'cello players.


_Composed, Boston, U.S.A._, 1889. _First Published_, 1889 (Arthur
P. Schmidt).

"Don't put that dreadful thing on your programme," was the burden
of a telegram MacDowell once despatched to Teresa Carreño when he
heard she was to play the _Etude de Concert in F sharp_, so we
know that the composer himself came, later on, to recognise the
inferior quality of this work. It is good enough for the salon
composer and the show pianist, but as coming from MacDowell's pen
it made a poor start as practically the first thing he composed
on his return to his native country in 1888, especially as he had
been preceded there by his good European reputation. The
brilliant pianistic effect of the piece, however, is undeniable.


_Composed, Boston_, 1889. _First Published_, 1889 (Arthur P.

  1. _Clair de Lune._

  2. _Dans le Hamac._

  3. _Danse Andalouse._

The first work produced by MacDowell in Boston, _Etude de
Concert, Op. 36_, was followed by music of equally poor quality,
in the composer's opinion. The pieces under notice are after
Hugo's _Les Orientales_, and although tolerably suggestive of
their titles, are of such poor inspiration that they have little
or no musical value outside the salon type of compositions that
the composer himself abhorred. Even the pretty _Clair de Lune_ is
shallow stuff, although it has attained some popularity as a
melodious solo, both in its original version and in its
arrangement for violin and pianoforte.


_Composed about_ 1888. _Revised and rearranged by the Composer_,
1901. _First Published_, 1888 (J. Hainauer. Revised Version,
1901--Arthur P. Schmidt).

_Dedicated to Miss Nina Nevins._


  1. _Soubrette._          1. _Prologue._

  2. _Lover._              2. _Soubrette._

  3. _Villain._            3. _Lover._

  4. _Lady-Love._          4. _Witch._

  5. _Clown._              5. _Clown._

  6. _Witch._              6. _Villain._

                           7. _Sweetheart._

                           8. _Epilogue._

These little pieces are quite notable and extremely interesting
both in their original and revised versions. Although the
subjects they portray are the stiff-moving and grotesque figures
of Marionettes, their general effect is often intensely human.
The set as a whole may be viewed as a half serious, half
whimsical study of characters in human life, issued under the
disguise of jointed and painted dummies. Beneath the quaint,
stiff movement of the music there is just that touch of
seriousness, a sort of droll sadness, that makes of it something
more than a doll's play. The revised edition of _Marionettes_ is
the best and most characteristic, and in the United States is the
accepted one. In England, however, the original edition,
published at Breslau in 1888 by Julius Hainauer, is still being

_Soubrette_ is a stiff, but bright little piece. In places it has
a wistfulness that seems to suggest that the human counterpart of
the character has feelings, not being merely an emotionless
puppet for public amusement.

_Lover_ has much the same stiff movement as the preceding piece,
but is more tender and subdued, dying softly away in the final
bars. There is much human feeling in this number.

_Villain_ is a realistic Marionette piece, with a quaint,
foreboding and sardonic spirit, the little climax being quite

_Lady-love_ brings a gentle and charming study to view, the
typical quaint movement of the pieces as a whole being here
considerably softened and made more flowing and graceful.

_Clown_ makes a jolly number, but beneath its outward dummy-like
comicalness there runs a strain of human feeling that towards the
end comes uppermost, the music becoming quite subdued, growing
fainter and fainter until nothing is left but a few little final

_Witch_ has a grotesque and mechanical jauntiness. There are some
powerful and sinister passages in it, the final gesture, with its
sudden tonic minor chord, capping the realism of the piece.

In the revised version of _Marionettes_ the character drawing is
more skilful, and we incidentally notice the illuminating and
characteristic English used in the works of MacDowell's mature
period instead of the conventional Italian musical terms. The
little comedy-drama is opened by a _Prologue_, in which jovial,
wistful and sardonic motives variously indicate the types of
characters in the play, and is rounded off by an _Epilogue_,
which is one of the most beautiful of MacDowell's smaller pieces,
being full of tender feeling, and indicating unmistakably the
deeper and human significance of the composer's Marionette
studies. The whole album comprises one of MacDowell's most
interesting portrayals of everyday human nature, standing quite
alone in its droll half-amusing, half-pathetic mode of expression.
It is something quite apart from the more specialised romantic
and heroic figures of the three symphonic poems, _Hamlet and
Ophelia, Op. 22_, _Lancelot and Elaine, Op. 25_, and _Lamia,
Op. 29_; the three last pianoforte sonatas, _Eroica, Op. 50_,
_Norse, Op. 57_, and _Keltic, Op. 59_; or of the noble _"Indian"
Suite, Op. 48_.


_Composed, about_ 1889-90. _First Published_, 1890 (Arthur P.


  1. _Hunting Song_.

  2. _Alla Tarantella_.

  3. _Romance_.

  4. _Arabeske_.

  5. _In the Forest_.

  6. _Dance of the Gnomes_.


  1. _Idyl_.

  2. _Shadow Dance_.

  3. _Intermezzo_.

  4. _Melody_.

  5. _Scherzino_.

  6. _Hungarian_.

These pieces have as their chief object the development of
pianoforte technique, but are quite interesting as poetical
music. In his technical instruction, whether through musical
examples or verbally, MacDowell inspired his subject with the
idealism and vivid thought of the true poet. The poetry of these
studies is not of the composer's finest inspiration, but it is of
a quality sufficient to prevent their being viewed solely as
technical exercises. Generally, they do not require advanced
executive ability to play.

_Hunting Song _(_Allegretto_) is a study for accent and grace,
but not particularly interesting as music.

_Alla Tarantella _(_Prestissimo_) is a fairly effective study for
speed and lightness of touch. It is not very difficult to play,
having convenient three-note phrases.

_Romance_ (_Andantino_) is fairly tuneful, but not particularly
interesting. It is a study for the development of the singing

_Arabeske_ (_Allegro scherzando_) is a sparkling wrist study.

_In the Forest_ (_Allegretto con moto_) is suggestive enough, but
not in MacDowell's finest style. It does not compare favourably
with the forest pieces in his delightful _Woodland Sketches, Op.
51, or with the deeply inspired and mature _New England Idyls,
Op. 62_. Its technical object is the development of delicate
rhythmical playing.

_Dance of the Gnomes_ (_Prestissimo confuoco_), the last study of
Book I, is another piece of imperfectly realised suggestive tone
poetry. It is difficult to play, requiring great crispness of
finger action combined with perfect control of tone volume.

_Idyl_ (_Allegretto_) is No. I of Book II, and has a certain
charm and lyrical beauty, although not one of the composer's best
efforts. It is a study for the cultivation of delicacy, singing
tone and grace.

_Shadow Dance_ (_Allegrissimo_) has just that touch of fanciful
romanticism that MacDowell knew how to infuse into a piece, thus
heightening its interest. The piece is one of the most popular of
MacDowell's shorter pieces and makes a fine solo. From a
technical point of view, it is a valuable study for development
of finger agility combined with lightness of touch.

_Intermezzo_ (_Allegretto_) is tuneful and pleasing, but does not
reach a very high level of poetic writing. It is, however, a
useful exercise for development of independent action of the two
middle fingers of the hand.

_Melodie_ (_Andantino_) is a melodious exercise for cultivating
independence of fingers.

_Scherzino_ (_Allegro_) is a tuneful study for double note
playing with the right hand.

_Hungarian_ (_Presto con fuoco_) has the characteristic fire and
syncopated rhythm of a Brahms' Hungarian Dance, and is a study
for the development of dash, speed and virtuoso playing.


_Composed_, 1890. _First Published_, 1890 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Sweet Blue-Eyed Maid_.

  2. _Sweetheart, Tell Me_.

  3. _Thy Beaming Eyes_.

  4. _For Sweet Love's Sake_.

  5. _O Lovely Rose_.

  6. _I Ask But This_.

These songs, although not absolutely of the composer's best, have
a charm, tenderness of feeling and beauty of expression that is
often irresistible. They are essentially the love songs of a
romantic, but refined and gifted poet. As a whole they are
singularly free from sexual sensuousness, which is so often a
trait in songs of their type. There is an idealism, wonderfully
fresh and pure, about them, that is antagonistic to the
composer's own assertion that verse often becomes doggerel when
harnessed to music in song form.

_Sweet Blue-Eyed Maid._ (_Daintily, not too sentimentally._) The
spirit of this song is happy and it is beautifully, although
simply, expressed.

_Sweetheart, Tell Me._ (_Softly, tenderly_.) The ability of
MacDowell to suggest a definite mood in music is clearly
demonstrated in this song, which has a simple melody of wonderful
appeal and tenderness.

_Thy Beaming Eyes._ (_With sentiment, passionately._) This is the
most widely known of all MacDowell's songs. The composer himself
thought it too sentimental and was not pleased with the
popularity it gained. There is no mistaking its passionate
feeling, however, and it strikes the human note frankly and
spontaneously, without becoming commonplace. The song is at least
sincere, and its popularity can do no harm to its composer's
deeper music, which is less easily understood.

Gramophone records of _Thy Beaming Eyes_ have been made for
"Columbia" by Charles W. Clarke, baritone, and for "His Master's
Voice" by Sophie Breslau, contralto.

_For Sweet Love's Sake_. (_Simply, with feeling_.) This song is
not a very successful alliance of words and music. The former are
of tender content, while the latter is after the style of a
pleasant lullaby. The music does not in the least reflect the
spirit of the words.

_O Lovely Rose_. (_Slowly, with great simplicity_.) This is the
pure lyric gem of the _Six Love Songs_ by MacDowell. It is very
short, but has a rare charm and fragrance.

_I Ask But This_. (_Moderately fast, almost banteringly_.) There
is an attractive piquancy and lightness about this song that
makes it distinct from its companions. It suggests light-hearted
love, and its demure ending, as the lovers part, was a happy
thought on the part of the composer.


_Composed_, 1890. _First Published_, 1890 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Cradle Song_.

  2. _Dance of the Gnomes_.

These two part-songs are effectively written and sharply
contrasted. Their contrast furnishes good reason why both should
be sung in the order given, and not robbed of their natural


_Composed, about_ 1890-91. _First Performed, September,_ 1891,
_at the Worcester, U.S.A., Musical Festival. First, Second,
Fourth and Fifth Movements First Published_, 1891. _Third
Movement First Published_, 1893 (Complete--Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _In a Haunted Forest_.

  2. _Summer Idyl_.

  3. _In October_.

  4. _The Song of the Shepherdess_.

  5. _Forest Spirits_.

This suite, although reminiscent of the nineteenth century German
romanticism amongst which MacDowell was educated, has an
atmosphere of its own that at once distinguishes it as an example
of the highly sensitive and suggestive tone poetry peculiar to
its composer. The work is very skilfully written and is
remarkable for its freshness and buoyancy of spirit. The scoring
is exquisite and always illustrative of the poetical subjects of
the suite. Each of the pieces has in its title a suggestion of a
scene of Nature, the first and last having also the fanciful and
imaginative atmosphere of folk-lore; this provided MacDowell with
a task in tone painting such as he loved. In _In a Haunted
Forest_ and _Forest Spirits_ we have examples of the romantic and
fanciful sort of tone poetry characteristic of the composer. In
the _Summer Idyl_, in the fine, mellow beauty of _In October_ and
in the lovely _Song of the Shepherdess_ we have MacDowell
composing in his beloved Nature style, although not in a manner
quite comparable with the pianoforte pieces, _Woodland Sketches,
Op. 51_, and _New England Idyls, Op. 62_. As a whole, the _First
Suite for Orchestra_ is not the finest of MacDowell's orchestral
works up to this stage, but it stands alone in the style of its
poetic subject matter. It has not the same bearing as _Hamlet and
Ophelia, Op. 22_, Lancelot and Elaine, Op. 25_, _Lamia, Op. 29_,
or _The Saracens and the Lovely Alda, Op. 30_, which all have an
historical or romantic outlook, but it possesses instead the
wonderful spirit of mysterious Nature. Even the noble _Second
(Indian) Suite for Orchestra_, the grandest of MacDowell's
orchestral works, cannot alter the position of this first suite,
which has an interest entirely its own. In performance the work
is notable for its fresh and finely-coloured material, and makes
a fine item in a concert because of its brilliancy and the
charmingly interesting suggestions of its poetic sub-titles.


_Composed_, 1891. _First Published_, 1891 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _The Brook_.

  2. _Slumber Song_.

These are well written and effective part-songs, making lovely
unaccompanied choral numbers. They have been undeservedly
overshadowed by the composer's instrumental and solo songs. Both
should be sung together for the sake of the intentional contrast.


_First Appeared_, 1892 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

This is a meritorious choral piece, skilfully written. The
somewhat elaborate accompaniment for pianoforte requires two


_Composed_, 1892-3. _Third Movement First Publicly Played, March
18th_, 1892, _at Checkering Hall, Boston, U.S.A., by the
Composer. First Public Complete Performance, March_, 1893, _at a
Kneisal Quartet Concert at Chickering Hall, Boston. Played by the
Composer. First Published_, 1893 (Breitkopf & Härtel).

  1. _Largo maestoso--Allegro risoluto_.

  2. _Molto allegro, vivace_.

  3. _Largo con maesta_.

  4. _Allegro eroico_.

Huneker, the celebrated American writer on music, described this
sonata, soon after its appearance, as "the most marked contribution
to solo sonata literature since Brahms' F minor piano sonata." The
work is chiefly notable for its general boldness and strength,
punctuated by passages of intimate tenderness and deepness of
expression, and its slow movement is one of MacDowell's most
inspired efforts. The great demerit of the sonata, however, is its
lack of cohesive thought. As a whole it suggests the spectacle of
a highly gifted poet, full of emotional ardour and desire for self
expression, but lacking the requisite skill to bind long continued
effort into a cohesive whole; and who makes the mistake of trying
to cramp his undoubtedly beautiful ideas by compressing them into
a set form. The _Sonata Tragica_ is more of a traditional sonata
than its successors, the _Eroica, Op. 50_, the _Norse, Op. 57_, and
the _Keltic, Op. 59_, but as a work of art is less successful. Its
subjects are quite fine, showing, individually, great strength of
character and tender feeling, but they often appear to have no
definite connection with each other. In the first movement
especially we find this defect, for the second subject, with its
lovely tenderness, contrasts awkwardly with the boldness and
strength of the first. The cause of this would seem to be that a
quieter second subject is demanded by the form of the sonata, but
its effect on the movement as a whole is patchy and illogical.
MacDowell evidently made some efforts to effect cohesion,
transferring ideas from one movement to another in the process,
but the attempts generally are not successful. He tries to write
in the traditional form, and only succeeds in drawing the
student's attention to the futility of it. Later, in the _Norse_
and the _Keltic_ sonatas, he threw form overboard when it suited
him; and wrote far greater works in doing so. There is no
doubting the quality of the music in the _Sonata Tragica_,
however, for it contains passages of dramatic fire, breadth and
sweep of line, beauty of expression and a strength of character
that can only be the work of a great tone poet. The work was
undoubtedly written at a white heat of inspiration, for at the
time MacDowell was not only grieved over the death of his old
master and friend, Joachim Raff, but was also harrassed by the
drudgery and struggle of his own existence. He poured out his
passionate feelings into the sonata, which is largely a
reflection of the hopeless outlook of his own care-laden life.

1. The introductory _Largo maestoso_ opens with a figure of
striking aspect, like a clenched, upraised fist. Immediately
following this comes a quieter, more serious strain, but only to
be succeeded by loud chords again, now punctuated by rushing
ascents in scale and arpeggio figures, the whole culminating in a
tremendous descent of double octaves bringing almost the whole
range of the pianoforte keyboard into action. After a pause, the
_Allegro risoluto_ enters _ppp_. Its bearing is strong and proud
and has much that is akin to the nervous, resolute martial energy
of Elgar. The second subject, _Dolce con tenerezza_, is
exquisitely tender and contemplative, but it follows the first
awkwardly, and the two as MacDowell left them are like detached
scraps having no relation to one another. As we proceed the music
becomes mysterious and restless until a more solid chord passage
appears. The whole is soon interrupted by the arresting figure of
the introduction, now appearing softly, with foreboding
seriousness. With the resumption of the _Allegro risoluto_ the
striving commences again and is even more restless than before.
From now onwards the music becomes increasingly significant,
graduating in tone power from a shadowy _ppp_ to solid and virile
loud chords. The first and second subjects formally reappear and
the end comes with a short coda, the feature of which is its
powerful upward expansion, culminating in chords of great
strength, the striking opening figure being again heard.

2. The scherzo-like second movement is inferior in quality to the
rest of the sonata, and apart from some ejaculations suggesting
the dramatic opening of the first movement, does not appear to
have any connection with the work as a whole. Its themes are not
distinguished, although there are touches of strength in many
places, and the movement savours generally of Teutonic romantic
influence and probably only exists at all as a concession to

3. The _Largo con maesta_ is the outstanding movement of the
sonata, remaining to this day one of MacDowell's most impressive
creations. It is full of deep feeling and gravity, contrasted
with passages of tender contemplation and the impassioned poetry
of despair. The whole aspect of the movement is lofty in thought,
vast in tonality and altogether indicative of power and of
genius. MacDowell was harassed by drudgery and care when he wrote
it and the tragic note is sounded from its first bars. After
exhausting itself in intense expression, the opening theme makes
way for a mood of quiet, although still despairing, contemplation.
This wanders on, until the music becomes impassioned and more
intricate. Rushing ascending scale passages add to the restless
movement of the whole, culminating in a tumultuous and despairing
utterance of the contemplative theme. This gradually dies down
and soon the impressive strains of the first theme are heard, now
softly breathed and portraying a deep and broken sadness in place
of the clenched fist attitude of their first appearance. The
music becomes more and more subdued, finally becoming extinct in
_pppp_ chords. The whole of this last page is one of the most
impressive and soul-stirring things in contemporary pianoforte

4. The final movement, _Allegro eroico_, opens with a bold,
heroic theme in spread chords, followed by a quieter subject. The
music goes triumphantly on with increasing brilliance, complexity
and heroic ardour. At length a great final version of the heroic
theme is heard, _Maestoso_, and soon we come to the dramatic
moment of the whole sonata. At the very height of exaltation we
are overwhelmed by a shattering descent of double octaves,
_precipitate_. The heroism and self-confident ardour so carefully
built up are swept away and the significant strains of the
introduction to the work are heard, now augmented in time value.
The music bursts into fury and the sonata ends with immensely
powerful and ringing chords, but it is the shout of tragedy and
not of victory. Thus closes a work that may well stand to-day as
a musical representation of the composer's own life story. The
sonata was first played in London on February 25th, 1902, by
Lucie Mawson.


_Composed_, 1893-94. _First Published_, 1894 (Breitkopf &

  1. _Novelette_.

  2. _Moto Perpetuo_.

  3. _Wild Chase_.

  4. _Improvisation_.

  5. _Elfin Dance_.

  6. _Valse Triste_.

  7. _Burlesque_.

  8. _Bluette_.

  9. _Traumerei_.

 10. _March Wind_.

 11. _Impromptu_.

 12. _Polonaise_.

These studies, while indicated by the composer as requiring
advanced technique for performance, are full of poetical thought
and tonal beauty that make them worthy of study. Many of them
possess that Nature tone painting, that mystic, subtle romanticism
of whispering tree-tops and elfin glades, that freshness and open
air spirit which distinguish MacDowell's later short pieces.

_Novelette_ is an attractive study and full of the composer's own
individual spirit. It is considered to be one of the best of the

_Moto Perpetuo_ is cleverly written and musical.

_Wild Chase_ is one of those exhilarating, imaginative pieces so
characteristic of MacDowell. It is full of outdoor poetry and
suggestive of a wild and glorious ride over the great American
prairies, or of a dream gallop full of breathless fancy.

_Improvisation_ exhibits the composer's finer poetry and mastery
of his art.

_Elfin Dance_ is suggestive and imaginative.

_Valse Triste_ is expressive and interesting, although not one of
the most distinguished of the set.

_Burlesque_ is a musical number, bright in spirit and free from

_Bluette_ is a beautiful piece of tone painting.

_Traumerei_ has a certain beauty of its own, indicating the
composer's capacity for deep expression.

_March Wind_ is full of the wild open-air breeziness associated
in our thoughts with the subject of its inspiration, and captures
the imagination. For a minute or so we can escape the heavy
atmosphere confined within four walls and rush with the sweeping
wind, high above cities and out over the broad, rolling country
beyond. The study has a background of spaciousness that suggests
American scenery.

_Impromptu_ is interesting and musical.

_Polonaise_ has brilliance and is well and effectively conceived
for big pianoforte tone production.


_Composed_, 1893. _First Published_, 1893 (Breitkopf & Härtel).

  1. _The Robin Sings in the Apple Tree._

  2. _Midsummer Lullaby._

  3. _Folk Song._

  4. _Confidence._

  5. _The West Wind Croons in the Cedar Trees._

  6. _In the Woods._

  7. _The Sea._

  8. _Through the Meadow._

With the composition of these songs, MacDowell fairly entered
into his finest and most mature period. They are beautiful,
characteristic, and full of that engaging romance, piquancy and
poetic charm that distinguishes his best lyrical work.

_The Robin Sings in the Apple Tree_ is written to the composer's
own words, which may be found in the published book of his
verses. The song is infinitely tender and tinged with that
wistfulness that he so often infused into his music. Particularly
beautiful is the spirit of the last verse:--

  _O robin, and thou blackbird brave,
  My songs of love have died;
  How can you sing as in byegone days,
  When she was at my side._

_Midsummer Lullaby_ has much charm and grace in its refined and
sensitive verse inspiration.

_Folk Song_ is characteristic and melodious.

_Confidence_ shows a lyric power of unusual quality and although
the music is not always in sympathy with the verse, the true
spirit of poetry is there.

_The West Wind Croons in the Cedar Trees_ is written to the lines
of MacDowell's little poem entitled, _To Maud_. This song is
beautiful and full of feeling, and tells in its three verses of
Love's expectation, doubt and disappointment. The music is allied
with perfect sympathy to the words.

_In the Woods_ was written to the composer's lines after Goethe.
This song is a pure lyric, touched with just enough romance to
deepen its significance.

_The Sea_ is well written, showing some of the power and
healthiness of the true MacDowell open-air spirit.

_Through the Meadow_ makes an exquisite vocal piece, thoroughly
attractive in its freshness. It is a song of the true nature-poet,
breathing the atmosphere of its title in the most delightful and
sensitive manner.


_First Performed, January_, 1896, _by the Boston Symphony
Orchestra, in New York. First Performance in England, October
23rd,_ 1901, _at a London Queen's Hall Promenade Concert.
Conductor, Sir (then Mr.) Henry J. Wood. First Published,_ 1897
(Breitkopf and Härtel).

_Dedicated to Emil Paur and the Boston Symphony Orchestra._

_Optional Titles to Movements, Furnished by the Composer._

  1. _Legend._

  2. _Love-Song._

  3. _In War Time._

  4. _Dirge._

  5. _Village Festival._

In the _Indian Suite_ we have one of the most graphic examples of
MacDowell's power of creating atmospheres and impressions of big
subjects. It is the finest and most mature of his orchestral
works, thoroughly individual and without a trace of the
nineteenth century German romanticism that is found in his
earlier productions. Its musical declamation is commanding and
infinitely noble. The atmosphere of the great rolling plains,
mighty forests, and vast and lonely retreats is unerringly
created. The notes of wildness and an indescribably touching
spirit of far away romance are sounded, telling of a forgotten
and dying elemental race. In the _Suite_ the lodges of the Red
men rise again before our eyes; their old legends, savage war
dances, love romances, their sorrows, joys and festivities live
once more. MacDowell has caught the spirit of the days when the
rude, but curiously interesting aborigines of America lived; of
days that are now but treasured legends that still stir the
hearts of the young in many lands. He conveyed a feeling of this
atmosphere in his music with an unerring touch, the effect of
which is heightened by the use of material derived from the
native tunes of the North American Indians. The _Indian Suite_ is
undoubtedly one of the most noble and impressive works that
MacDowell ever composed, containing in the _Dirge_ movement one
of his most striking utterances. In his last days he expressed a
preference for this above anything else he had composed. The
_Suite_ is full of stirring strength, vast tonalities, depth of
feeling and elemental greatness, and is scored with a mastery of
orchestral tone colour used solely and unerringly to enhance the
poetic suggestiveness of the whole. It was fully sketched between
three and four years before its first appearance, as the composer
spent much time in becoming more closely acquainted with Red
Indian tunes.

1. _Legend_ (_Not fast. With much dignity and character_). This
opens with a romantic horn-call of the plains that is significant
of the whole _Suite_:--


It is heard again at the end of the last movement. Indescribable
is the effect of the paused note, the silence, and then the far
away answer. The call is elaborated with rich effect, but the
atmosphere of vastness and loneliness is preserved. The
suggestiveness of this introduction is wonderfully vivid, for in
a moment we are transported from the civilisation of to-day to
the wildness and romance of the old days on the plains of the
great West. The introduction finished, the movement proper begins
(_Twice as fast. With decision._) with a long tremolo on the note
B. At the fifth bar a harvest song of the Iroquois Indians


Vivid in effect is the following striving figure:--


The Indian theme is now elaborated at some length with much richness,
and is wild in effect. After this a tender MacDowell-like second
subject appears:--


This contemplative atmosphere is soon broken as the influence of
the native theme is felt, and the striving figure is also heard.
The music grows more and more wild and intricate, working up to a
tearing intensity and then dying away until only a few deep
murmurs remain. The striving figure is heard twice, and then
follows a small bridge to a repetition of the tender second
subject, now heard pianissimo under a swaying, chord accompaniment.
After a time it grows in intensity and imperceptibly merges into
the romantic call of the introduction, the influence of which,
however, is at once felt. The music now mounts to a tremendous
pose of strength, double _fortissimo_, the final bars striking the
same attitude in a deeper and more stolid form. There is little in
music of such iron-like force as the conclusion of this _Legend_.
The thundering tremolos and chords are not intricate or beautiful,
their very splendour lying in their stark, magnificent elemental

2. _Love-Song_ (_Not fast. Tenderly_). This opens with the tune
of a love song of the Iowa Indians:--


This little after thought brings a touch of romance:--


A new and equally tender theme follows:--


Although not of great importance, this little episode is notable
for its poetic suggestion of the Red Indian atmosphere:--


The music now goes on its way, rich in harmonic and instrumental
colour, but always clear, now soft and lulling, now approaching
the passionate. The first theme is heard again, and the
_Love-Song_ is then concluded by the little after thought.

3. _In War Time_ (_With rough vigour, almost savagely_). A rude
war song of the Iroquois Indians opens this movement:--


The rhythm of its continuation is afterwards made much of,
particularly the active semiquaver figure:--


The opening theme is now repeated with the implied harmonies, the
whole progressing with increasing intensity, the figure of the
second illustration being prominent. The music surges wildly,
undulating in a manner that suggests a Redskin scalp dance, the
hideous, painted figures now bending low, now holding their
weapons high above their heads. At length the fury of the war
dance reaches an elan that exhausts it, the barbaric figure
referred to in our second illustration becoming more and more
prominent, then sinking lower and lower until it is nothing more
than a series of thudding accents, broken by periods of silence
of increasing length. The effect is one of horses galloping
further and further away into the distance. After this the whole
atmosphere changes, and a mournful, lonely cry is heard:--


We may find the significance of this in the fact that it is a
prominent figure of the _Dirge_, No. 4 of the suite. The active
figure is now heard again, deep and almost inaudible, softly
ushering in the barbaric opening theme, now heard in the bass.
The warriors appear to be returning as the music once more grows
in volume. Wilder and wilder it grows--a moment's silence--only
to begin again faster and faster. Still faster does it become
until it is almost a scream, the conclusion coming in a
magnificent series of reiterated chords thundered out with the
full strength of the orchestra employed. There is no doubt that
this piece is one of the most vividly imaginative and brilliant
in the whole range of orchestral music, although it is rarely
performed with the skill and insight it requires.

4. _Dirge_ (_Dirge-like, mournfully_). "Of all my music," said
MacDowell after his last music had been published, "the _Dirge_
in the _Indian Suite_ pleases me most. It affects me deeply and
did when I was writing it. In it an Indian woman laments the
death of her son; but to me, as I wrote it, it seemed to express
a world-sorrow rather than a particularised grief." The piece is
undoubtedly one of its composer's most melancholy utterances.
Under a long series of reiterated key notes of the tonic minor,
the wailing phrase heard in _In War Time_ (No. 3 of the suite)


It goes on at some length with increasing sadness and richer
harmonic and instrumental colouring (indescribable is the effect
of a muted horn heard off the platform). Soon comes a deep and
solemn bass uttering, heart-shaking in its grief. We give it with
the passage leading up to it:--


After a while the music rises with the same lonely mournfulness
to an outburst of despair:--


The sad opening phase follows and after this the solemn bass
figure. The close is mysterious but piercing in its sobbing,
inconsolable grief.


This _Dirge_ is indisputably the cry of a great soul, and there
is little in music which expresses grief so effectively. The
sense it gives of loneliness and sombreness has never been quite
equalled by any other composer. The piece is not a funeral
oration weighed down with pomp, but the spontaneous grief of
elemental humanity. The scene is of a mother mourning for her
son; its significance is of a world sorrow. The music would
honour any composer, living or dead.

5. _Village Festival_ (_Swift and light_). This number is the
longest of the Suite. It opens with the tune of a squaws' dance
of the Iroquois Indians:--


This is soon followed by another of festivity:--


The music proceeds, rich in harmonic and instrumental colouring,
and vividly suggesting the wild orgies of the village festivities
of the Red Indians. The whole works up to frenzied power until
exhaustion comes and it dies down again. Indicated as _slightly
broader_, the opening tune is now heard softly over mysterious
tremolos. Particularly subdued is the wild and sombre after


After a time, the striving figure first heard early in the first
number of this suite, _Legend_, appears. The thumping accents of
the festal dance are now heard again, softly, and soon we hear
the opening tune. The wild excitement begins to return, growing
to a frenzy in which a reminiscence of the first theme of the
_Legend_ may be noticed. Soon the music sinks down again, but
never losing its strongly-marked accents, and now hastening its
course. The second festive theme is heard softly, high in the
scale. Faster and faster, but still subdued, grows the music, the
striving figure of the _Legend_ being prominent. A broadening out
then comes and with it a magnificent, raw strength, in which is
heard the romantic call that opens the whole work in the
introduction to the first movement. The bare tonic is now struck
with a gesture of great force. A roll of sound follows. Again the
bare note is sounded, and again the roll of sound succeeds. The
last dozen bars thunder solely on the tonic note, with a rude,
but stern and manly elemental absence of harmonic colouring,
typifying with undeniable dignity the savage, but often
impressive and noble figure of the Red Man, forgotten now that
his great race has been succeeded by the greatest and most
striking nation of the white races--the Republic of the West.

The _Indian Suite_ is obtainable in pianoforte score.


_First Published_, 1894 (Breitkopf & Härtel).

This work has been curiously neglected. It comes just at the
beginning of MacDowell's more mature period, but nobody seems to
know much about it. It is true that it lacks the definitely
indicated poetic basis that is a feature of the composer's finest
work, but it is a well written and melodious composition. It is
at least more deserving of attention than the popular _Hexentanz,
Op. 17_, and the _Etude de Concert in F sharp, Op. 36_, but these
two owe their popularity to the virtuoso pianist. Grove's
_Dictionary of Music and Musicians_ refers to _Op. 49_ as "some
dances published in a Boston collection."


_First Published_, 1895 (Breitkopf & Härtel).

_Dedicated to William Mason._

"_Flos regum Arthurus._"

  1. _Slow, with nobility_--_Fast, passionately, etc._

  2. _Elf-like, as light and swift as possible._

  3. _Tenderly, longingly, yet with passion._

  4. _Fiercely, very fast._

The _Sonata Eroica_ is perhaps the most beautiful and noble,
although not the grandest or most stirring, of MacDowell's four
pianoforte sonatas. It has not the weight and power of the
_Sonata Tragica, Op. 45_, but in its beauty and noble dignity it
is infinitely more impressive. The whole work was inspired by the
Arthurian legends that MacDowell, with his love of ancient
chivalry and romance, loved to idealise. In the sonata he has
illuminated his subject with compelling nobleness of thought and
beauty of effect, freely adapting the traditional musical form to
the needs of his poetic purpose. The work requires a considerable
amount of study for its finished performance, as well as a
knowledge and understanding of its source of inspiration. Heard
at its best it is a magnificent solo piece, only surpassed by the
composer's own two later sonatas, the _Norse, Op. 57_, and the
_Keltic, Op. 59_.

1. The first movement is notable for its variety of _tempo_ and
expression, every page containing new indications as to these in
the illuminating and characteristic English of the composer. He
has told us that the movement as a whole typifies the coming of
Arthur, and as such we may leave it. The traditional sonata form
is freely adapted to the poetic requirements of the movement, but
the result is rather ragged. The music itself, however, is deeply
inspired and full of fire. The simple, yet pathetic second
subject is recalled again in the slow movement.

2. The fanciful and "elf-like" _scherzo_ movement was suggested
to the composer by Doré's picture of a knight in a wood,
surrounded by mythological forest folk. The music is imaginative
and cleverly written, but MacDowell afterwards considered the
movement as a whole to be "an aside" from the general content of
the sonata. The present writer thinks that this _scherzo_ may be
omitted by a performer who satisfies himself that it is not an
essential part of the Arthurian concept of the whole. If the
sonata is played simply as programme music, however, it benefits
by the inclusion of this movement.

3. This movement is headed, _Tenderly, longingly, yet with
passion_, and is considered by many of the composer's admirers to
be one of his most beautiful inspirations. It is, according to
MacDowell himself, a musical representation of Guinevere,
Arthur's lovely queen. Quite independent of the rest of the
sonata, the movement is a tone poem of rare beauty, expressiveness
and passion, although the melody entering at its eleventh bar
connects it with the preceding movement.

4. The last movement represents the passing of Arthur. It is
strikingly suggestive of the closing days of the Arthurian drama,
the tragic note being often impressively struck, although not so
definitely as in the _Sonata Tragica_. The import of the movement
is satisfying to those who believe that the days of romance and
chivalry closed with the fall of Arthur and his knights, despite
the attempts in the Middle Ages to revive the past. The movement
as a whole is physically exhausting, except to the very strong.
The great climax arrives some way before the end of the work, the
music seeming gradually to ebb away after it as though it were
but recounting the last scenes of Arthur's death. The two final
pages sadly recall the opening theme of the first movement,
typifying the coming of Arthur. The coda is of moving tenderness,
indicating the tragedy of Guinevere. A final and elevated
outburst is heard and then the sonata ends with a prolonged
chord. Altogether there is something very noble and beautiful
about this sonata, from which the magnificence and surpassing
power and beauty of the two later ones do not detract.


_First Published_, 1896 (P.L. Jung. Assigned, 1899 to Arthur P.

  1. _To a Wild Rose._

  2. _Will o' the Wisp._

  3. _At an Old Trysting-place._

  4. _In Autumn._

  5. _From an Indian Lodge._

  6. _To a Water-lily._

  7. _From Uncle Remus._

  8. _A Deserted Farm._

  9. _By a Meadow Brook._

 10. _Told at Sunset._

These widely known pieces were composed during the last part of
MacDowell's residence at Boston, just before he left for New York
to take up his duties as professor of music at Columbia
University. In these _Woodland Sketches_ we come for the first
time to the point at which his pianoforte poems are absolutely
responsive to elemental moods, unaffected in style and yet
distinguished, free from commonplace, speaking with a personal
note that is inimitable. They are, as a whole, mature Nature
poems of an exquisite and charming order, beautiful not only for
their outward manifestations, but for the deeper significance
they give to their sources of inspiration.

1. _To a Wild Rose_ (_with simple tenderness_). This is one of
the most charming and well known of MacDowell's small pieces. It
is founded on a simple melody of the Brotherton Indians, and has
a poise of the most refined and beautiful order. The composer was
always afraid of the less intelligent music lovers "tearing it up
by the roots." A vocal arrangement has been made by Herman
Hagedorn, but the words are sickly and commonplace in sentiment,
and so unnaturally cramped, that the song is artistically

2. _Will o' the Wisp_ (_Swift and light; fancifully_). This is a
very imaginative piece, full of mysterious and shadowy lightness,
and swift of movement. It seems to just float over the keys and
in its general effect is fascinating and spirit-like, with
dancing little lights flickering in the shadows.

3. _At an Old Trysting-place_ (_Somewhat quaintly; not too
sentimentally_). This is the shortest piece of the set, and is
only thirty bars long. It is cramped into one page in the current
edition of the sketches. The melody is tender, undulating and
expressive and is supported by full but always clear chords, with
typical modulations. The broadness of the chord writing, together
with the general tone of the piece as a whole, seems to call for
orchestral colouring and foreshadows MacDowell's most advanced
period. As a whole, it is contemplative, expressing the
wistfulness of one who stands at a quiet place, musing on bygone
meetings there.

4. _In Autumn_ (_Buoyantly, almost exuberantly_). MacDowell threw
an irresistible joyous excitement into this piece (as he did
later in the superb _The Joy of Autumn_, from _New England Idyls,
Op. 62_). _In Autumn_ opens with a brisk staccato theme, followed
by little chromatic runs which seem to suggest the whistling of
the wind through the tree-tops. A middle section brings a
complete change of mood, as if questioning the elements. A
mysterious and fanciful little passage leads to a resumption of
the opening joy of existence. In short, this piece is most
exhilarating, and pulsates with life and with an exuberance that
is most infectious.

5. _From an Indian Lodge_ (_Sternly, with great emphasis_). This
is as strong and impressive a piece as MacDowell ever composed
for the pianoforte. From the first bar the note of the stern
stolidity of the Red man is struck. The rude, elemental power of
the bare octaves of the introductory bars is unmistakable. The
ensuing stolid oration, punctuated by emotionless grunts, is an
ingenious musical sketch of a pow-wow scene in an Indian wigwam.
The piece closes with a reminiscence of the last part of the
introduction, first softly and then very loudly, the final chords
being of orchestral-like sonority. The whole composition is one
of the best in the set for showing MacDowell's ability to create
atmosphere. The scene of the Indian lodge is unmistakable.

6. _To a Water-lily_ (_In dreamy, swaying rhythm_). This is a
remarkable little piece of lyrical tone painting. It is in the
key of F sharp major, and is mostly played on the black keys. Its
chords are rich and, except in the short middle section, scored
on three staves, yet always with an effect of the utmost
lightness of poise. The piece is vividly suggestive of a
water-lily floating delicately on quiet water, but in the
questioning little middle section something seems to disturb the
water, and for a moment the flower rocks uneasily. The opening
theme returns and the piece ends with the utmost delicacy of
effect. _To a Water-lily_ is generally admitted to be one of the
most exquisite and perfect lyrics MacDowell ever composed for the

7. _From Uncle Remus_ (_With much humour; joyously_). American
youngsters delight in the negro tales of "Uncle Remus," and this
piece opens with an unbridled joviality that continues to the
end. There is a wealth of jolly humour that is delightfully frank
and infectious without being commonplace. It is rich and real,
with a breadth that was a captivating feature of MacDowell's
personal sense of humour.

8. _A Deserted Farm_ (_With deep feeling_). A deeper note is
struck in this piece, the opening theme being very grave. Later a
wistful tenderness comes over the whole, but the grave melody
returns and in this mood the piece ends. The whole atmosphere of
it is one of loneliness, and, except for a sonorous bar or two,
its expression is subdued. It gives an impression of the quiet
that hangs around an old country home long since deserted, where
human life once existed with all its joys and sorrows.

9. _By a Meadow Brook_ (_Gracefully, merrily_). This goes
bubbling and sparkling along, now swirling round a little rock,
now running over a little waterfall, but always going merrily on
until softer and softer grows the tonality, finally vanishing
from musical sight. The piece is purely a play of tone, but never
shallow, for it suggests not only a particular type of Nature
scene, but the significance of the beauty and goodness it

10. _Told at Sunset_ (_With pathos_). This piece is of some
importance from the fact that it contains thematic allusions to
two of the preceding numbers. It opens with a sad, reflective
theme that is reminiscent of _A Deserted Farm_. It proceeds for
nineteen bars, dying softly away high in the scale. After a
moment's silence, a softly breathed, but firmly emphasised
marching tune appears, marked _Faster sturdily_. It grows
gradually louder until it is thundered out in its full strength,
with something of the nervous accentuation peculiar to Elgar's
music. It dies gradually away again, until nothing is left but a
few last faint references to its sturdy quality. The grave theme
of _A Deserted Farm_ (_No._ 8) is now introduced (transposed a
semitone lower than the original to F minor), freely altered, and
infused with more intense expressiveness. The conclusion is
dramatic, for after twenty-four bars of deep and tender
contemplation comes an impressive silence--and then the stern and
solemn chords of the latter part of the introduction to _From an
Indian Lodge_ are heard, first softly and then with virile
orchestral _fortissimo_, and with this the piece closes.


_First Published_, 1897 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Hush, hush!_

  2. _A Voice from the Sea._

  3. _The Crusaders._

These part-songs are finely written and full of suggestiveness.
_Hush, hush!_ creates the atmosphere suggested by its title. _A
Voice from the Sea_ and _The Crusaders_ are settings of some of
the composer's own verses. The sea song tells of the north wind's
wrath, the roaring sea on the rugged shore and of a woman with a
torch, looking out into the darkness, moaning: "Thy will be
done." The whole song graphically suggests the dangers of the
sea. The third chorus is heroic and strong, not treating of the
forces of nature, as does the preceding number, but with the
bold, adventurous daring, fired with religious zeal, of the old
Crusaders. The music of _The Crusaders_ is worthy of its theme.


_First Published_, 1898 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Bonnie Ann._

  2. _The Collier Lassie._

These are charming part-songs, and bear the composer's individual
stamp. The groups of male voice choruses of Ops. 52, 53 and 54,
present a fine aspect of MacDowell's work, although they are not
of his most important output. Presumably a good reason why they
are so seldom performed in Europe is that they are little known
here; it is certainly not because their inspiration or effect is
poor. The composer was conductor of the Mendelssohn Glee Club, an
old-established American Male Voice Choir, about the date when
these part-songs were written.


_First Published_, 1898 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _A Ballad of Charles the Bold._

  2. _Midsummer Clouds._

These two choruses are some of the finest of MacDowell's little
known part-songs for male voices, and are both written to his own
lines. The first is a stirring ballad of olden times:--

  _Duke Charles rode forth at early dawn
  Through drifting morning mists,
  His armour frosted by the dew
  Gleamed sullenly defiance....

  ... All day long the battle raged.
  And spirits mingled with the mist
  That wreathed the warring knights...._

Charles, although his charger is led by Death against the foe,
himself falls a victim to the tireless Reaper.

The second chorus, _Midsummer Clouds_, is in pleasant contrast to
the blood and war spirit of the first. In it we have the
imaginative charm and beauty of lines like the following:--

  _Through the clear meadow blue
  Wander fleecy white lambs...._

There is a certain depth about the song, however, as if the
scenic suggestion is only a symbol of something greater and more
human, and this feeling is increased by the last verse:--

  _And the light dies away
  As the silent dim shapes
  Sail on through the gloaming,
  Towards dreamland's gates._


_First Published_, 1898 (P.L. Jung. Assigned 1899 to Arthur P.

  1. _To the Sea._

  2. _From a Wandering Iceberg._

  3. _A.D. 1620._

  4. _Starlight._

  5. _Song._

  6. _From the Depths._

  7. _Nautilus._

  8. _In Mid-Ocean._

The _Sea Pieces_ contain some of the finest of MacDowell's
suggestive tone poetry. They are chiefly remarkable for their
exhibiting the composer's ability to suggest a big scene, or a
dramatic or emotional content of far-reaching significance, in an
incredibly small space. The power and breadth of some of the
pieces is great, while their beauty of tone, displaying the
powers of the pianoforte from _pppp_ to _fff_, is rich and full
in its harmonic construction. Although the chords seem to call
for orchestral colouring, the effect is always clear and ringing
on the pianoforte, whilst the melodies are some of the most noble
and dignified of MacDowell's short pieces. As a contrast to the
strength of some of the numbers in the set, others are of an
exquisite and quiet beauty. Altogether the _Sea Pieces_ make up
one of the most superb pianoforte albums in existence, for they
are tone poems of unsurpassed beauty, strength of character,
nobleness of thought and unerring atmospheric suggestion,
touching the high water mark of the composer's inspirations. Each
piece is headed by a verse of the composer's own writing, except
the first, sixth and seventh, which have single lines only. The
poems are included in the published book of his verse.

1. _To the Sea_ (_With dignity and breadth_). This is headed:--

  _Ocean, thou mighty monster_,

and is a tone poem of remarkable power. It is but thirty-one bars
in length and yet it contains more solid material, breadth and
perfectly concentrated splendour than many an orchestral tone
poem of symphonic proportions. The graduations of tone found in
the piece are very fine and could only have been written by one
who knew intimately the tonal resources of the modern pianoforte.
The chord writing spreads over a wide area of the keyboard, but
is remarkable for its clarity. It is indeed extremely difficult
to call to mind any other composer who could have painted a tone
picture so big in outlook and so complete in itself, in such a
small space as MacDowell has done here.

2. _From a Wandering Iceberg_ (_Serenely_). This piece suggests a
towering iceberg gradually approaching, passing by in all its
splendour, and going on toward _realms of burning light_. The
tone variety ranges from _as soft and smooth as possible_ to a
virile, orchestral _fff_. The melody of the piece is very
beautiful and the whole thing has a curious icy clearness about
it that is remarkably realistic. The last seven bars contain
music as tender and serene as anything MacDowell ever composed.

3. _A.D. 1620_ (_In unbroken rolling rhythm_). This represents
the voyage of the pilgrim fathers and is a four-page piece, about
double the length of the preceding two. Its character is
generally stern, and the rolling of the lumbering ship is vividly
suggested. The middle portion consists of a magnificent song
marked _Sturdily and sternly, but without change of rhythm_. The
tune is not beautiful, but it is strong and inspiring, and in
these respects it is unique. Its power is remarkable even for
MacDowell. As the preceding part gradually led up to the song, so
in its repetition it gradually dies away, as if the ship had
approached and passed by, bearing its load of the men, women and
children who were to found the great Republic of the West.

4. _Starlight_ (_Tenderly_). This is a tender and beautiful
little inspiration. It has a melodic and harmonic outlook of the
exquisite poise that marks MacDowell's finest work. The light and
shade of the piece call for perfect control of tone production on
the part of the performer. It is lighter and more finely
conceived than the preceding pieces in this set, and is a very
perfect tone suggestion of the loveliness of a quiet, starlit

5. _Song_ (_In changing moods_). This opens softly with a cheery
song which has a rough and hearty chorus. A deeper emotion is
sounded where the music is marked _passionately_, and after this
comes a passage of wistful tenderness. The song is resumed,
together with its chorus, but near the end the tender portion is
recalled, and the piece ends with a subdued and thoughtful
reminiscence of the air.

6. _From the Depths_ (_In languid swaying rhythm_).This is one of
MacDowell's greater inspirations and is headed:--

  _And who shall sound the mystery of the seas._

This is a magnificent tone poem. We first have a picture of the
sea, calm, but sinister, and then we see it working up to its
full power and fury in a storm. The gradations of tone range from
a sombre, mysterious _ppp_ to an _fff_ of furious power. The
writing is very full and rich, and there are passages of a
stupendous strength and magnificence of effect seldom found
outside MacDowell's own music.

7. _Nautilus_ (_Delicately, gracefully_). This is headed:--

  _A fairy sail and a fairy boat_

and is the gem of the set. The writing is of exquisite
gracefulness and charm. The scenery, as the little voyage
proceeds, is of fresh loveliness and constantly changing, while
the curious, indecisive rhythm is unmistakably suggestive of an
uncanny boat trip in quiet water. The whole piece is one of
perpetual charm and delight to the ear.

8. _In Mid-Ocean_ (_With deep feeling_). Here we find the deeper
note struck again:--

  _Inexorable! Thou straight line of eternal fate...._

The music of this piece is transporting in its majestic nobility
and magnificent, sweeping strength. It is one of the most superb
of MacDowell's short pieces. From the deep and sonorous opening
bars, through passionately mounting fury, to the sombre and
mysterious close--in all of it we are confronted with the work of
an unmistakably inspired master. With this fitting, unsurpassed
picture, not of the outward might of the sea alone, but of the
mysterious, relentless and terrible beauty of its significance as
Fate, MacDowell concluded his _Sea Pieces_--Tone poems of
artistic supremacy, of inimitable strength and loveliness of
expression, that will live as long as there are men and women who
are stirred by the deep power of music to give expression to
God's Creation.


_First Published_, 1898 (P.L. Jung. Later assigned to Arthur P.

  1. _Long Ago, Sweetheart Mine._

  2. _The Swan Bent Low to the Lily._

  3. _A Maid Sings Light._

  4. _As the Gloaming Shadows Creep._

This is a very beautiful group of songs, made from the best of
the composer's artistic material. They are of pure and uncommonly
high quality, expressing happiness, tenderness and irresistible
charm. The verses of each are the composer's own, those of the
last number being after Frauenlob.

1. _Long Ago_ (_Simply, with pathos_). This song has a sadness
and tenderness which, together with its words, give it an
irresistible appeal. The scene it suggests is that of an elderly
couple, for whom life is drawing to a close, recalling the
far-off days when their undying love for each other commenced.
The expression of the music is very human and free from any
commonplace sentiment.

2. _The Swan Bent Low to the Lily_ (_With much feeling_). This
song is an exquisite and charming little lyric.

3. _A Maid Sings Light_ (_Brightly, archly_). This song has a
captivating delightfulness and warns off a lad, lest he lose his
heart to the fair maid who not only sings light, but loves light.

4. _As the Gloaming Shadows Creep_ (_Tenderly_). This is one of
MacDowell's finest songs. The words are "after Frauenlob," and
were used previously by the composer in _As the Gloaming Shadows
Creep_ in _Songs from the Thirteenth Century_ (without opus
number) _for Male Chorus_. The music is very tender and beautiful
in expression, and these qualities atone for the fact that the
song does not always show a perfect alliance between words and
music; its chief merit is in the outstanding quality of the

_Long Ago_ and _A Maid Sings Light_ form one of the gramophone
records made for "His Master's Voice" series by Alma Gluck. This
lyric soprano has sung the two MacDowell songs with sympathy and
perfect phrasing. The accompaniments were played by a Mr.
Bourdon, who unfortunately disregarded the composer's tone and
legato indications.


_First Published_, 1900 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Impressively; at times with impetuous vigour._

  2. _Mournfully, yet with great tenderness._

  3. _With much character and fire._

The two last sonatas, the _Norse, Op. 57_, and, the _Keltic, Op.
59_, are MacDowell's most superb achievements, banishing for ever
the mistaken and ignorant assertion that he was only a miniaturist
in composition. The _Norse_ sonata is separated by a wide gulf of
progress from its predecessor, the _Sonata Eroica_, being greater
in outlook, freer in form and altogether more strongly determined
and personal in character. It has a more mature strength, nobleness
and dignity, together with an inspiring and magnificent beauty and
splendour of tone power. The subject of the work was one that
MacDowell loved to dwell upon--the stirring tales of love and
mighty heroism told in the ancient Norse sagas. The barbaric, but
undoubtedly splendid spirit of those dim days seized upon his
imagination as it did upon that of the English composer, Elgar,
when he wrote his _Scenes from the Sagas of King Olaf_. The writing
in the _Norse_ sonata is of tremendous breadth and sweep of line,
only surpassed by that of the _Keltic_ sonata, (_Op. 59_), often
calling forth the utmost power of which the modern pianoforte is
capable and altogether ignoring the stretch of one pair of hands,
which have to leap the huge chordal stretches very smartly.
Notwithstanding this fullness of writing, however, the effect is
always ringing and clear. The third and fourth of MacDowell's
sonatas were dedicated by him to Grieg, but the printed copies of
the former do not bear the inscription, though those of the _Keltic_
do so.

1. The first movement opens darkly and sombrely, suggesting the
lines of the verse that heads the sonata as a whole, telling of
the great rafters in the hall at night, flashing crimson in the
flickering light of a dying log fire. The strong voice of a bard
rings out, and through this medium the tales of battles, love and
heroic valour is told. The movement has passages of tremendous
vigour, passion and depth, all painted with the unerring skill of
the composer. The final bars are of fierce and elemental power.

2. The second movement opens with a theme of tender beauty. It
develops into passionate strength, involving much intricacy of
writing and wide spread chordal work.

3. The third and last movement (it will be noted that MacDowell
abandons the scherzo movement in this sonata, as it had proved an
_aside_ in the two earlier ones) is impetuous and, as it
proceeds, becomes increasingly difficult to play. The theme of
the second movement is recalled in a passage of extreme pathos.
The final coda is most impressive, beginning _Dirge-like_--_very
heavy and somber_; five bars from the end there is a moment's
silence, and then the opening theme of the first movement rings
out and the sonata ends with the utmost breadth and strength.


_First Published_, 1899 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Constancy_ (_New England, A.D. 1899_).

  2. _Sunrise._

  3. _Merry Maiden Spring._

The verses of these songs are MacDowell's own, and both words and
music here go to make up song writing of an order that is rare in
its beauty of expression, tender thought and pure lyricism.

In _Constancy_ (_New England, A.D. 1899_), indicated _Simply, but
with deep feeling_, we have one of MacDowell's best songs. It has
a tenderness and wistfulness about it that is irresistible, and
sung in the spirit of its words, which tell of an empty house and
neglected garden, it is a very beautiful thing.

_Sunrise_, marked _With power and authority_, is short and tells
of the sorrowful spectacle of a wrecked and broken ship. The
actual scene, however, seems secondary to its own significance as
a symbol of human life. The music is heavy after the style of
certain of the composer's pianoforte _Sea Pieces_ (_Op_. 55).

The third and last song, _Merry Maiden Spring_, is charming, with
a singularly bright and captivating freshness. It is indicated to
be sung _Lightly, gracefully_.


_First Published_, 1901 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

_Dedicated to Edvard Grieg_.

  1. _With great power and dignity_.

  2. _With naive tenderness_.

  3. _Very swift and fierce_.

The _Keltic Sonata_ is generally considered MacDowell's supreme
achievement, the great culmination of his evolution toward
musical expression of immense and rare power. The sonata is a
work of great breadth and vitality, and has a sweep of line and
noble beauty of expression that is only equalled in the supreme
efforts of genius, such as Beethoven's _Appassionata_ sonata for
instance. It is a most superb poetical romance, full of the
passion and heroic fervour of the Celtic strain in MacDowell's
own nature. It searched out his finest and deepest inspiration
when he wrote it and it grew to be part of his very being
afterwards. The whole thing is a reflection of the heroic and
stirring romances in Celtic legend. It is full of a wild beauty
and sorrow, and carries us back to those far-off days when men
lived the lives that now to us seem mythical. The graduations of
tone in the sonata range from _pppp_ to _ffff_, and although its
technical difficulties are considerable, they are worth
conquering, which is more than can be said of many things over
which the modern pianist takes infinite pains. The virtuoso
aspect of the _Keltic_ sonata, however, is always lost in the
magnificent spirit of the music. All MacDowell's finest works
require not mechanical technique only, but deep intellectual and
poetical thought to bring out their finest qualities.

1. From the first bars the majesty of the work becomes apparent.
The first movement as a whole is full of the fire of Celtic
inspiration, tinged with a wild and piercing sorrow. The final
page of it contains music of stupendous power, and the limit of
extremity of tone contrast is reached in the two last bars, one
of which is to be played _pppp_ and the other _ffff_.

2. The second movement opens with a tender and exquisite beauty,
but the music soon becomes impassioned, the dominant mood being
that wild sorrow we have already referred to.

3. The final movement is generally dark and fierce, moving
swiftly and of great technical difficulty. Near the end we notice
the direction, _Gradually increasing in violence and intensity_,
and later an unforgettable passage occurs _With tragic pathos_.
The sonata ends with a fierce rush, of enormous and elemental
power. The key to the meaning of the _Keltic_ sonata is given in
some lines of his own which MacDowell placed at its head, but
they are only part of all that he expressed in it. They should be
read together with the lines entitled _Cuchullin_ in the book of
his verses. _Cuchullin_ was considered unconquerable and even his
form, when at last frozen in death, awed all who saw it; and it
is of the might and tragedy of this old figure in Celtic legend
that the sonata seems to tell. The final pages of the last
movement may be considered as a vivid expression of the scene
which Standish O'Grady, whose work MacDowell loved, has so
superbly described:--"Cuculain sprang forth, but as he sprang,
Lewy MacConroi pierced him through the bowels. Then fell the
great hero of Gael. Thereat the sun darkened, and the earth
trembled ... when, with a crash, fell that pillar of heroism, and
that flame of the warlike valour of Erin was extinguished." The
stricken warrior made his way painfully to a tall pillar, the
grave of some bygone fighter, and tied himself to it, dying with
his sword in his hand and his terrifying helmet flashing in the
sun. In O'Grady's words:--"So stood Cuculain, even in death-pangs,
a terror to his enemies, for a deep spring of stern valour was
opened in his soul, and the might of his unfathomable spirit
sustained him. Thus perished Cuculain." ... Superb as these lines
are, they are equalled in expression by the music of MacDowell's
_Keltic_ sonata.


_First Published_, 1902 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _Tyrant Love._

  2. _Fair Springtide._

  3. _To the Golden-rod._

This is the last song group that MacDowell published. It contains
music of great charm and poetic beauty, with a grave tenderness
that was ever his own. The verses are all from his pen and show
his unusual literary gifts.

_Tyrant Love_ (_Lightly, yet with tenderness_). This is the least
fine of the three, and yet in itself it is a song of rare quality
and far above the commonplace. The music is beautiful, although
not free from distortion of the words.

_Fair Springtide_ (_Very slow, with pathos_). This is one of the
best and most mature of MacDowell's songs. It makes a lovely
solo, full of sweet and tender sadness, seldom failing to move
its hearers. Both as regards words and music, it comes straight
from the soul of its composer.

_To the Golden-rod_ (_With tender grace_). This is a pure and
delectable piece of lyrical work, in MacDowell's most delightful
style. The verse tells of a lissom maid whose wayward grace
neither sturdy Autumn nor the frown of Winter can ever efface.
The words are obviously fanciful, but the song has a graceful
charm and fragrance.


_First Published_, 1902 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

_Dedicated to Mrs. Seth Low_.

  1. _An Old Love Story._

  2. _Of Br'er Rabbit._

  3. _Of Salamanders._

  4. _A Haunted House._

  5. _By Smouldering Embers._

These pieces show a significant change in the voice of MacDowell.
A certain strange, farawayness of thought is apparent, and a
grave tenderness that is not quite like anything he had
previously written. The fine beauty of the previous short pieces
here gives way to a new kind of serious and even sombre aspect,
and indeed the composer seems to have entered on a new period.
Unfortunately the next work after these _Fireside Tales_ is the
last music he published, and so the certainty of the commencement
of a new period cannot definitely be established. The writing is
much more masterly than in any of the earlier short pieces,
including the _Sea Pieces_, even though these have greater

1. _An Old Love Story (Simply and tenderly)._ This opens with the
familiar flowing type of MacDowell melody, but with the
succeeding section in D flat major, marked _ppp_, comes in a new
and earnest expressiveness. After this the opening theme returns
and the piece ends tenderly and subdued. _An Old Love Story_ is,
on the whole, quite characteristic, and certainly very beautiful.
It seems to bring with it an atmosphere of fading, but still
cherished, bygone happiness, and its thought is tender and

2. _Of Br'er Rabbit (With much spirit and humour--lightly)._ This
opens with a roguish and catching tune which is brilliantly
worked out with much variety, droll humour, and masterly skill.
The piece has, of course, an affinity with _From Uncle Remus
(Woodland Sketches, Op. 51_), since Br'er Rabbit is Uncle Remus'
chief hero; but the maturity and masterly handling of the
material in _Of Br'er Rabbit_ is unquestionably finer than
anything in the earlier piece. MacDowell had much affection for
his _Br'er Rabbit_ creation, and it is certainly one of the most
delightful of all his brighter compositions; the humour is so
droll and so characteristic of himself.

3. _Of Salamanders (As delicately as possible)._ This is a
fanciful, intricate piece, but very delicate in effect. It is
technically difficult to play, requiring an absolute control of
finger work. It was rather a favourite with the composer. 4. _A
Haunted House (Mysteriously)._ This is one of the most imaginative
and realistic of MacDowell's smaller pianoforte pieces. It opens
_very dark and sombre_, developing into a wild and eerie
_fortissimo_. The middle section requires swiftness of finger work
to suggest the nervous expectancy aroused by the preceding
mysteriousness. The ghost-like effect returns, then gradually
recedes again into impenetrable gloom.

6. _By Smouldering Embers (Musingly)._ This opens with a quiet,
tender theme after the style of _An Old Love Story_. The piece is
quite short, but displays a mastery both of harmony and
counterpoint. The music is grave and deep, but very tender. The
little middle section stands out in its almost passionate, but
sonorous and controlled emotion. Toward the end, the music
becomes very moving and subdued, dying away with careful and
sensitive tone reduction. The impression left by this piece, and
by the _Fireside Tales_ as a whole, is that the composer was
conscious of a heavy responsibility in his work; that he felt, as
Elgar has explained, that "the creative artist suffers in
creating, or in contemplating the unending influence of his
creation ... for even the highest ecstacy of 'Making' is mixed
with the consciousness of the sombre dignity of the eternity of
the artist's responsibility."


_First Published_, 1902 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

  1. _An Old Garden_.

  2. _Mid-Summer_.

  3. _Mid-Winter_.

  4. _With Sweet Lavender_.

  5. _In Deep Woods_.

  6. _Indian Idyl_.

  7. _To an Old White Pine_.

  8. _From Puritan Days_.

  9. _From a Log Cabin_.

 10. _The Joy of Autumn_.

This album is the last work MacDowell published. It contains, not
only some of his most beautiful and advanced lyrical tone poems,
but, in _Mid-Winter_ and _From a Log Cabin_, two of the most
significant and inspired of all his shorter pieces. In the _New
England Idyls_ as a whole, we have the eloquence and poetry of
MacDowell in its fullest maturity. The American atmosphere is
strong in these pieces, the scene suggested by each one belonging
unmistakably to New England. In addition to the expressive and
suggestive power of these idyls, they possess a fragrance and
freshness that are rare in music. Each piece is headed by a verse
of the composer's, and it should also be noted that he has
dropped his English directions as to expression, etc., and gone
back to Italian. There is no great gain in this, for the terms he
uses, although in the language traditionally employed for the
purpose, are by no means always the actual terms of traditional
standing; he simply took the unnecessary trouble to translate his
English-thought directions into a foreign language. His Italian
is not always that generally used in music.

1. _An Old Garden_ (_Semplice, teneramente_). This opens with an
expressive and tender little theme. In the middle part a
beautifully formed lyricism appears. The opening theme eventually
reappears and the piece ends with quiet, but rich and sonorous

2. _Mid-Summer_ (_Come in sogno_). This is a tone impression of a
drowsy summer's day:--

  ... _Above, the lazy cloudlets drift,
  Below, the swaying wheat_....

It is exquisitely done, with the composer's usual unerring
instinct for creating atmosphere. The technical mastery is finer
than that shown in the _Woodland Sketches_, and the tonality
ranges in the thirty-six bars of its length from _fortissimo_ to
softly breathed _ppp_, and at the end even _pppp_.

3. _Mid-Winter_ (_Lento_). Here we find a piece of dramatic
significance and great power. Its deeper meaning is expressed in
the verses that head it:--

  _In shrouded awe the world is wrapped,
  The sullen wind doth groan,
  'Neath winding-sheet the earth is stone,
  The wraiths of snow have flown_.

  _And lo! a thread of fate is snapped,
  A breaking heart makes moan;
  A virgin cold doth rule alone
  From old Mid-winter's throne_.

The piece opens with an impressive theme uttered _ppp_. The whole
atmosphere soon becomes one of vast and solemn content, rising to
an intense short outburst. Soon a new and rather bleak theme is
heard with mournful, clashing harmonies; the whole effect is
vividly recalled in _From a Log Cabin_, No. 9 of these idyls, the
only piece in the set to equal this one in force. After some
commentary, a series of three rushing, ascending scale passages
are introduced, beginning _pppp_, then gradually becoming louder
until they culminate on high and powerful chords. The opening
theme reappears at the height of the climax and is expressed with
passionate intensity. Gradually the music dies solemnly away
again. The whole of this piece appears very different to anything
of MacDowell's earlier work; its deep and almost fateful
significance, together with its problematical character, is a bid
for something even greater than the _Sea Pieces_ (_Op_. 55).

 4. _With Sweet Lavender_ (_Molto tenero e delicato_). This piece
opens with a tender and expressive theme, which is one of the
most beautiful of the composer's inspirations. The passage marked
_la melodia con molto_ introduces that new and deeper note which
is a feature in MacDowell's last two pianoforte albums. It breaks
out presently into passionate longing, but the return of the
sweet opening theme, _ppp motto delicato_, brings the feeling of
quiet wistful contemplation back again. The verses at the head of
the piece attribute its mood to the reading of a packet of old
love letters.

 5. _In Deep Woods_ (_Largo impressivo_). This opens with loud
and resounding chords, expressive of the majesty and beauty of
American forests. At the eleventh bar a lovely theme enters, and
the music from now onwards is written on four staves, but is
always clear and fresh. As the full grandeur of the woods is
felt, the theme takes on a splendid exultation, gradually sinking
away as:--

  ... _The mystery of immortal things
  Broods o'er the woods at eve_.

The piece was one of the composer's favourites; he inscribed its
opening bar on a portrait of himself which he gave to Mr. W.W.A.
Elkin, his London publisher and friend.

6. _Indian Idyl_ (_Leggiero, ingenuo_). This is a lovely tone
poem, opening with a characteristic little figure reminiscent of
the opening of the _Love-Song_ in the _Indian Suite for
Orchestra_ (_Op_. 48). The theme is punctuated by little
flute-like embellishments. The middle section, _poco piu lento_,
is idyllic, with a perfectly balanced, swaying rhythm. In playing
this portion, the left hand should describe an equal series of
semicircles as it alights first on the low chord, and then on the
single note two octaves higher. The opening theme returns with
the flute-like embellishments prominent, but all heard softly, as

  ... _afar through the summer night
  Sigh the wooing flutes' soft strains_.

 7. _To an Old White Pine_ (_Gravemente con dignità_). The
characteristic feature of this piece is its sense of alternate
mounting and declining strength. At about the middle of the
movement a deeper solemnity is noticed, in a passage suggesting
the _swaying, gentle forest trees_ that whisper at the feet of
the huge old pines of an American forest. Some expressive and
ingenious little woodland touches are included in the quiet
concluding bars.

 8. _From Puritan Days_. "_In Nomine Domini_" (_Con enfasi
smisurata_). A stern theme opens this piece, while a passage
marked _implorando_ seems to suggest the pious attitude of the
immortal founders of the New England States. Soon the music
becomes hurried and more impassioned, the pious, despairing
motive being prominent. The opening theme is now thundered out
_fortissimo_ and the piece ends with a sense of stern and
rock-like strength of character.

 9. _From a Log Cabin_ (_Con profondo espressione_). This piece,
which should be played with great expression, stands on a level
with _Mid-Winter_, No. 3 in this album. It strikes the new and
sombre note already referred to and carries with it a sense of
deep and vast import. The composer's unerring feeling for
atmosphere is given full play. The piece as a whole is deep and
problematic. The lines at its head:

  _A house of dreams untold_,
  _It looks out over the whispering tree-tops
  And faces the setting sun_.

refer to MacDowell's log-cabin in which he used to compose, and
they are the same that are inscribed over his grave. _From a Log
Cabin_ opens quietly, with a grave theme and a clashing
accompaniment that produces a different effect to that of any of
the composer's earlier work, but recalls vividly the bleak second
theme of _Mid-Winter_. Some powerful though small climaxes may be
noticed, and then a new theme is heard softly, _con tenerezza,
pensieroso_, over a florid accompaniment. After this has run its
course, it is followed by intensely passionate outbursts of
sorrow, the whole culminating in a thunderous repetition of the
first theme. This reappears with great solemnity, which is
emphasized by tolling, drum-like strokes, in the bass. The close
is mysterious and impressive; the widespread chords, the wailing,
clashing discords in the final bar but one, and the far away last
chord, _pppp_, all tend to increase the depth and mystery of the
piece. _From a Log Cabin_ is an inspired tone poem suggesting the
atmosphere of a quiet evening in the woods, with the slow setting
of the sun in the Golden West; a scene by which Nature often
creates the sense of the mysterious more impressively and truly
than any man-made attempts can equal. This view of declining day,
the gradual shutting off of light and life, was strangely
prophetic when MacDowell wrote it, for his own end came by a
similar process in the form of an ever deepening gloom fatalling
obscuring his mental light.

10. _The Joy of Autumn_ (_Allegro vivace_). This is a splendidly
exhilarating piece and the longest by far of the set. The music
leaps along with the sheer joy of living, the themes being
singularly fresh and bright. The whole number is written in a
brilliant and masterly manner, requiring a polished pianoforte
technique to secure its full effect, especially in the exultant
whirl and rush in the final page. A comparison of this piece with
the _In Autumn_ of the _Woodland Sketches_ (_Op_. 51) makes the
great advancement of MacDowell in the technique of composition
obvious even to the tyro. _The Joy of Autumn_ is one of the most
brilliant and spontaneous things in modern music; it is never
commonplace, it is always MacDowel-like in spirit and artistic
worth, and shows its author at the height of his maturity. With
this joyous and beautiful piece, MacDowell bade farewell to his
God-given creative art. Happily he did not know at the time that
_From a Log Cabin_ was to prove a truer-expression of his future;
a prophetic description of the tragic end of his life.



Published by Arthur P. Schmidt.

  1. _Courante_.

  2. _Menuet_.

  3. _Gigue_.

  4. _Menuet_.

  5. _Menuet_.

  6. _Marche_.

These are illuminating little MacDowell-like adaptations of some
sketches by "one of the world's mightiest tone poets," as
MacDowell described J.S. Bach. They are charmingly and cleverly
written, although not always satisfying, it is to be feared, to
the strict purist.


Published by Arthur P. Schmidt.


  1. _Courante_ (_Rameau_).

  2. _Sarabande_ (_Rameau_).

  3. _Tempo di Minuetto_ (_Grazioli_).

  4. _Le Bavolet Flottant_ (_The Waving Scarf_)(_Couperin_).

  5. _Gigue_ (_Mattheson_).

  6. _Sarabande_ (_Loeilly_).


  7. _Gigue_ (_Loeilly_).

  8. _La Bersan_ (_Couperin_).

  9. _L'Ausonienne_ (_Couperin_).

 10. _Aria from Handel's_ "_Susanna_" (_Lavignac_).

 11. _Gigue_ (_Graun_).

These pieces were much used by MacDowell in his lessons, as
illustrations of eighteenth century music, and were published in
two books about a dozen years after his death. They have not met
with unanimous approval, for his transcriptions of the old pieces
for the harpsichord and clavichord, in a manner suited to the
modern pianoforte, is considered by many purists to be too free.
The fact is that in their original form they are quite unsuitable
for the modern pianoforte, being far too slight. MacDowell has,
for many of us, done the right thing by filling in their implied
harmonies and otherwise bringing out their qualities, so that
they may be done justice under present-day keyboard conditions.


_First Published_, 1897 (Arthur P. Schmidt).

 1. _Winter Wraps his Grimmest Spell_.

 2. _As the Gloaming Shadows Creep_.

These are two effective male-voice choruses. The first number
being a setting of MacDowell's lines after Nithart, and the
second of verses by the composer, inspired by Frauenlob. These
latter beautiful lines were also used in number four of the _Four
Songs, Op. 56_.

MacDowell composed three part-songs for Female-Voice Choir. They
have no opus numbers and are entitled:--

_Summer Wind_.
_Two College Songs:

  1. Alma Mater.

  2. At Parting_.

They are well written and effective, the _College Songs_ being
particularly interesting, while _Summer Wind_ has one of the
composer's beloved nature subjects as its inspiration. Published
by Arthur P. Schmidt.

In addition to the _Six Little Sketches_ on pieces by Bach, and
the pieces contained in the albums entitled _From the Eighteenth
Century_, MacDowell also revised and edited for the pianoforte
the following compositions:--

  Alkan-MacDowell,   _Perpetual Motion_.
  Cui,               _Cradle Song_.
  Dubois,            _Sketch_.
  Geisler,           _Episode_.
  Geisler,           _Pastorale_.
  Geisler,           _The Princess Ilse_.
  Glinka-Balakirev,  _The Lark_.
  Huber,             _Intermezzo_.
  Lacombe,           _Etude_.
  Liszt,             _Eclogue_.
  Liszt,             _Impromptu_.
  Martucci,          _Improviso_.
  Moszkowski,        _Air de Ballet_.
  Moszkowski,        _Etincelles_.
  Pierné,            _Allegro Scherzando_.
  Pierné,            _Cradle Song_.
  Pierné,            _Improvista_.
  Reinhold,          _Impromptu_.
  Rimsky-Korsakov,   _Romance in A flat_.
  Stcherbatcheff,    _Orientate_.
  Ten Brink,         _Gavotte in E minor_.
  Van Westerhout,    _Gavotte in A_.
  Van Westerhout,    _Momenta Capriccioso_.

All Published by Arthur P. Schmidt.

The following compositions were arranged for Male-Voice Choir by

  Beines,            _Spring Song_.
  Borodine,          _Serenade_.
  Filke,             _The Brook and the Nightingale_.
  Moniuszko,         _The Cossack_.
  Rimsky-Korsakov,   _Folk Song_.
  Sokolow,           _Spring_.
  Sokolow,           _From Siberia_.
  Von Holstein,      _Bonnie Katrine_.
  Von Woss,          _Under Flowering Branches_.

All Published by Arthur P. Schmidt.

MacDowell also wrote _Technical Exercises for the Pianoforte_ (_2
Books_), in addition to the Studies comprising Ops. 39 and 46.
They were at one time obtainable from Arthur P. Schmidt.


A number of well-known MacDowell pianoforte pieces have been
transcribed for other instruments. The transcriptions are all
published by Arthur P. Schmidt, and are as follows:--



By Frederick N. Shackley.

  _Idylle_ (_Starlight, _Op. 55, No. 4_).

  _Pastorale_ (_To a Wild Rose, _Op. 51, No. 1_).

  _Romance_ (_At an Old Trysting Place, _Op. 51, No. 3_).

  _Legend_ (_A Deserted Farm, _Op. 51, No. 8_).

  _Reverie_ (_With Sweet Lavender, _Op. 62, No. 4_).

  _Maestoso_ (_A.D. 1620, _Op. 55, No. 3_).


By C. Charlton Palmer.

  _Nautilus_ (_Op. 55, No. 7_).

  _Andantino_ (_Romance, _Op. 39, No. 3_).

  _Sea Song_ (_Song, _Op. 55, No. 5_).

  _Meditation_ (_By Smouldering Embers, _Op. 61, No. 6_).

  _Mélodie_ (_To a Water Lily, _Op. 51, No. 6_).

  _In Nomine Domini_ (_From Puritan Days, _Op. 62, No. 8_).


  _To a Humming Bird_ (_From Six Fancies_).

  _To a Wild Rose_ (_From _Op. 51_). Original and simplified

  _Clair de Lune_ (_From _Op. 37_).

  _With Sweet Lavender_ (_From _Op. 62_).



Arranged by Julius Klengel.

  _To a Wild Rose_.

  _At an Old Trysting Place_.

  _To a Water-Lily._

  _A Deserted Farm_.

  _Told at Sunset_.


Useful albums for those who desire an introduction to MacDowell's
music are as follows:--


Album of selected Pianoforte Pieces.

  1. _Prologue_.

  2. _Alia Tarantella_.

  3. _An Old Love Story_.

  4. _Melody_.

  5. _The Song of the Shepherdess_.

  6. _A Deserted Farm_.

  7. _To the Sea_.

  8. _Danse Andalouse_.

  9. _From a Log Cabin_.

 10. _Epilogue_.


(Low or High Voice.)

 1. _Thy Beaming Eyes_.

 2. _The Swan Bent Low_.

 3. _O Lovely Rose_.

 4. _Deserted_.

 5. _Slumber Song_.

 6. _A Maid Sings Light_.

 7. _To a Wild Rose_.


MacDowell's _Critical and Historical Essays_ (_Lectures delivered
at Columbia University_), referred to earlier in this book, are
published in America by Arthur P. Schmidt and in England by
Macmillan & Co., Ltd. His _Verses_, a book of beautiful poetic
inspirations, is published solely by Arthur P. Schmidt. An
enthusiastic study of MacDowell, by Lawrence Gilman, an American
musical critic, is published by John Lane & Co., in New York and
London. Arthur P. Schmidt & Elkin & Co. stock all three books.


The following pieces were published by MacDowell under the
pseudonym of _Edgar Thorn_. He stipulated that the royalties
resulting from their sale should be paid to a nurse who was at
one time needed in his household. They are mature pieces,
although slight in form.


This is a charming piece, published separately. It is
characteristic, although not deeply inspired.


_First Published_, 1897 (P. L. Jung). Assigned, 1899, to Arthur
P. Schmidt,

  1._Sung Outside the Prince's Door_.

  2. _Of a Tailor and a Bear_.

  3. _Beauty in the Rose-Garden._

  4. _From Dwarf-land._

These trifles are of a refined and genuinely poetical order,
possessing all the composer's suggestive tone poetry in a light

1. _Sung Outside the Prince's Door (Softly, wistfully)._ This
opens with a tender and expressive theme. The middle section,
_Pleadingly_, is described by this indication. Altogether, the
piece is a little gem, full of sweet and wistful expressiveness.

2. _Of a Tailor and a Bear (Gaily, pertly)._ This is a fanciful
little piece, the antics of the bear being happily suggested. The
tunes are lively and the whole thing has a delightful old-world
atmosphere about it. Some of the marks of expression are very
characteristic, including, _Growlingly, clumsily_, etc.

3._Beauty in the Rose-Garden (Not fast;_ _sweetly and simply)._ A
pleading little theme opens this number. The middle section,
indicated _Well marked, almost roughly_, has a touch of passion
in its feeling. The resumption of the opening tune is marked
_Sadly_, and the piece concludes rather beautifully, with great

4. _From Dwarf-land (Merrily, quaintly)._ This opens with a merry
theme, and is full of quaint and delightful little touches.


These two pieces are explained by their titles and are of little


_First Published_, 1898 (P.L. Jung). Assigned 1899, to Arthur P.

 1. _A Tin Soldier's Love_.

 2 ._To a Humming Bird_.

 3. _Summer Song_.

 4. _Across Fields_.

 5. _Bluette_.

 6. _An Elfin Round_.

This is a characteristic album, the pieces in it being
imaginative and suggestive, in tone poetry, of their subjects,
although not of the composer's deepest inspiration.

1._A Tin Soldier's Love (Gently, with Feeling)._ This little
piece opens with a sweet and simple theme, followed by a toy-like
march tune, and these make up the material of the piece.

2. _To a Humming Bird (As fast and light as possible)._ There is
nothing very striking about this piece. It is imaginative, and
when played at the required speed, with lightness of touch, is
effective. It has been arranged as a violin solo with pianoforte

3. _Summer Song (Not fast)._ This is characteristic of MacDowell
in its clear-sounding harmonies, and has a certain charm and
fragrance of its own.

4. _Across Fields (Lightly and joyously)._ This piece opens with
a happy and characteristic tune. The whole atmosphere suggested
in its two pages is singularly bright, sunny and fresh.

5. _Bluette (Gracefully)._ This is the most MacDowell-like piece
of the _Six Fancies_, some of its rich harmonies and characteristic
key transitions being reminiscent of the composer's finer work.

6. _An Elfin Round (Very swift and light)._ The full effect of
this piece can only be felt if it is played at a great speed,
with extreme lightness of touch. The feeling is not very deep, as
the occasion does not demand it, but it is a fanciful and
suggestive little creation.


(Published under the Pseudonym of Edgar Thorn.)

  _The Witch_.

  _War Song_.

  _The Rose and the Gardener_.

  _Love and Time_.

All Published by Arthur P. Schmidt.

These part-songs are extremely interesting and effective,
particularly in the MacDowell-like manner in which they convey
musical suggestions of their literary content.


The works of MacDowell are reviewed in this book in order of
_opus_ number, and the following index will enable the reader to
find the account of any piece of which he knows the title, but
not the number. Works without opus numbers are dealt with after
those having one.

TITLE:                                             OPUS NO.


First Symphonic Poem, Hamlet and Ophelia,              22

Second Symphonic Poem, Lancelot and Elaine,            25

Third Symphonic Poem, Lamia,                           29

First Suite, in A minor,                               42
  _In a Haunted Forest_
  _Summer Idyl_
  _In October_
  _The Song of the Shepherdess_
  _Forest Spirits_

Second Suite, Indian                                   48
  _In War Time_.
  _Village Festival_

Two Fragments, The Saracens and the Lovely Alda        30


Barcarolle (Mixed chorus and Piano duet)               44

Summer Wind (Female Voices)                          none

Three Choruses (Male Voices)                           52
  _Hush, hush_!
  _A Voice from the Sea_
  _The Crusaders_

Three Part-songs (Male Chorus)                         27
  _In the Starry Sky Above Us_
  _The Fisherboy_

Two Choruses (Male Voices)                             53
  _Bonnie Ann_
  _The Collier Lassie_

Two Choruses (Male Voices)                             54
  _A Ballad of Charles the Bold_
  _Midsummer Clouds_

Two College Songs (Female Voices)                    none
  _Alma Mater_
  _At Parting_

Two Northern Part-songs (Mixed Chorus)                 43
  _The Brook_
  _Slumber Song_

Two Part-songs (Male Chorus)                           41
  _Cradle Song_
  _Dance of the Gnomes_
Two Songs from the Thirteenth Century (Male Chorus)  none
  _Winter Wraps his Grimmest Spell_
  _As the Gloaming Shadows Creep_

Published under the Pseudonym of Edgar Thorn         none
  _The Witch_
  _War Song_
  _The Rose and the Gardener_
  _Love and Time_


Air and Rigaudon                                       49
Amourette                                            none
Etude de Concert, in F sharp                           36

Fireside Tales                                         61
  _An Old Love Story_
  _Of Br'er Rabbit_
  _From a German Forest_
  _Of Salamanders_
  _A Haunted House_
  _By Smouldering Embers_

First Concerto, in A minor (With Orchestra)            15

First Modern Suite                                     10
  _Andantino and Allegretto_

First Sonata, Tragica                                  45

Forest Idyls                                           19
  _Forest Stillness_
  _Play of the Nymphs_
  _Dance of the Dryads_

Forgotten Fairy Tales (_Published under the
  Pseudonym of Edgar Thorn_)                         none
  _Sung Outside the Prince's Door_
  _Of a Tailor and a Bear_
  _Beauty in the Rose Garden_
  _From Dwarf-land_

Four Little Poems,                                     32
  _The Eagle_
  _The Brook_

Four Pieces,                                           24
  _Cradle Song_

Fourth Sonata, Keltic,                                 59

From the Eighteenth Century (Transcriptions
for Pianoforte of Harpsichord and Clavichord
pieces),                                             none

In Lilting Rhythm (Two Pieces) (_Published
under the Pseudonym of Edgar Thorn)_,                none

Les Orientales,                                        37
  _Clair de Lune_
  _Dans le Hamac_
  _Danse Andalouse_

Marionettes,                                           38

Moon Pictures (Duets),                                 21
  _The Hindoo Maiden_
  _Stork's Story_
  _In Tyrol_
  _The Swan_
  _Visit of the Bear_

New England Idyls,                                     62
  _An Old Garden_
  _With Sweet Lavender_
  _In Deep Woods_
  _Indian Idyl_
  _To an Old White Pine_
  _From Puritan Days_
  _From a Log Cabin_
  _The Joy of Autumn_

Prelude and Fugue,                                     13

Sea Pieces,                                            55
  _To the Sea_
  _From a Wandering Iceberg_
  _A.D. 1620_
  _From the Depths_
  _In Mid-Ocean_

Second Concerto, in D minor (With Orchestra),          23

Second Modern Suite,                                   14
  _Fantastic Dance_

Second Sonata, Eroica,                                 50

Serenata,                                              16

Six Fancies (_Published under the Pseudonym of
Edgar Thorn_), none

  _A Tin Soldier's Love_
  _To a Humming Bird_
  _Summer Song_
  _Across Fields_
  _An Elfin Round_

Six Idyls (after Goethe),                              28
  _In the Woods_
  _To the Moonlight_
  _Silver Clouds_
  _Flute Idyls_

Six Little Pieces on Sketches by J.S. Bach,          none

Six Poems after Heine including,                       31
  _Scotch Poem_
  _Poeme érotique_

Technical Exercises for the Pianoforte,              none

Third Sonata, Norse,                                   57

Three Poems (Duets),                                   20
  _Nights at Sea_
  _Tale of the Knights_

Twelve Studies for the Development of Technique and
Style,                                                 39
  _Hunting Song_
  _Alla Tarantella_
  _In the Forest_
  _Dance of the Gnomes_
  _Shadow Dance_

Twelve Virtuoso Studies                                46
  _Moto Perpetuo_
  _Wild Chase_
  _Elfin Dance_
  _Valse Triste_
  _March Wind_

Two Fantastic Pieces                                   17
  _Legend Witches' Dance (Hexentanz_)

Two Pieces                                             18
  _Barcarolle Humoresque_

Woodland Sketches                                      51
  _To a Wild Rose_
  _Will o' the Wisp_
  _At an Old Trysting Place_
  _In Autumn_
  _From an Indian Lodge_
  _To a Water-lily_
  _From Uncle Remus_
  _A Deserted Farm_
  _By a Meadow Brook_
  _Told at Sunset_


Eight Songs_                                           47
  _The Robin Sings in the Apple Tree_
  _Midsummer Lullaby_
  _Folk Song_
  _The West Wind Croons in the Cedar_
  _In the Woods_
  _The Sea_
  _Through the Meadow_

Five Songs _                                      10 & 11
  _My Love and I_
  _You Love Me Not_!
  _In the Sky, where Stars are Glowing_
  _Night Song_
  _The Chain of Roses_

Four Songs
  _Long Ago, Sweetheart Mine_
  _The Swan Bent Low to the Lily_
  _A Maid Sings Light_
  _As the Gloaming Shadows Creep_

From an Old Garden                                     26
  _The Pansy_
  _The Myrtle_
  _The Clover_
  _The Yellow Daisy_
  _The Bluebell_
  _The Mignonette_

Six Love Songs                                         40
  _Sweet Blue-Eyed Maid_
  _Sweetheart, Tell Me_
  _Thy Beaming Eyes_
  _For Sweet Love's Sake_
  _0, Lovely Rose_
  _I Ask But This_

Three Songs                                            33
  _Cradle Hymn_

Three Songs                                            58
  _Merry Maiden Spring_

Three Songs                                            60
  _Tyrant Love_
  _Fair Springtide_
  _To the Golden-rod_

Two Old Songs                                           9
  _Slumber Song_

Two Songs                                              34
  _My Jean_


Romance                                                35

Printed in Great Britain at The Devonshire Press, Torquay.

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