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 & Haertel).
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 & Haertel).
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.