Polonaise has brilliance and is well and effectively conceived for big pianoforte tone production.
Composed, 1893. First Published, 1893 (Breitkopf & Haertel).
1. The Robin Sings in the Apple Tree.
2. Midsummer Lullaby.
3. Folk Song.
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 Haertel).
Dedicated to Emil Paur and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.