Edward Macdowell 's ' Of A Wild Rose ' From Woodland Sketches

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Edward MacDowell’s “To a Wild Rose” from Woodland Sketches (1896) American born, but European-trained, Edward MacDowell is known as one of America’s prominent composers during the Gilded Age. With the rise of musical nationalism in America, MacDowell composed Woodland Sketches in 1896, which comprised of ten piano pieces whose titles refer to the American landscape and his personal experiences. The most well-known piece of the ten is “To a Wild Rose.” “To a Wild Rose” highlights MacDowell’s skills as a composer to harvest deep emotions and impressions from the listener from a simple motive; however, it was also an attempt for MacDowell to claim an identity as an American composer. In April 1876, MacDowell’s mother took him to Paris to attend the Conservatoire, where he studied piano with Antoine F. Marmontel (Pesce). Dissatisfied, MacDowell went on to Germany in 1878, which helped further his career (Pesce). The beginning of MacDowell’s success as a composer came with the publication of his Erste Modern Suite by German firms (Pesce). Edward MacDowell then married Marian Nevins, a fellow American, and settled in Germany from 1885 to 1888 where he would devote himself exclusively to composition (Pesce). Due to financial difficulties, MacDowell would decide to return to America in the autumn of 1888. Upon returning from Europe, MacDowell would perform a series concerts that led to the rise of his popularity as a musician. It was typical for American composers to return to

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