Edward MacDowell eBook

Lawrence Gilman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about Edward MacDowell.
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 & Haertel).

  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 set.

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 commonplace.

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.

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Edward MacDowell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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