Edward Alexander MacDowell (December 18, 1860 – January 23, 1908) was an American composer and pianist of the late Romantic period. He was best known for his second piano concerto and his piano suites Woodland Sketches, Sea Pieces and New England Idylls. Woodland Sketches includes his most popular short piece, "To a Wild Rose". In 1904 he was one of the first seven Americans honored by membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
He was born in New York City and studied at the Paris Conservatory and Dr. Hoch's Conservatory in Frankfurt. Liszt was an admirer . He was appointed professor at Columbia University in NYC, where his task was to "create a music department." He was often stressed with his work at Columbia, ahd resigned abruptly.
He was subject to depression, which increased severely, and his final illness began when he was run over by a hansom cab in NYC in 1904. Of his final years, Lawrence Gilman, a contemporary, described: "His mind became as that of a little child. He sat quietly, day after day, in a chair by a window, smiling patiently from time to time at those about him, turning the pages of a book of fairy tales that seemed to give him a definite pleasure, and greeting with a fugitive gleam of recognition certain of his more intimate friends."
These piano transcriptions are part of my "Summertime Series," and there are more to come - some simple, some very complicated... ;-)
This work comes from "Woodland Sketches" dating from 1896, and is certainly MacDowell's most well-known work, and has become a true classic. The "hardest" thing about it is to play it AT the tempo he indicates, which is quite a bit FASTER than you would think! I recall reading an article which stated that, yes, this IS the correct tempo!
The fine transcription is by Charles P. Scott, but I have no more information about him.
A photo of Edward MacDowell is attached below, as well as one of him and his wife. The score is also attached. (See page 4)