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American Classics - MacDowell: Piano Concertos / Prutsman


Release Date: 01/16/2001 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559049   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Stephen PrutsmanAisling Drury-Byrne
Conductor:  Arthur Fagan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Edward MacDowell (1860-1908), an exact contemporary of Gustav Mahler, was widely considered the most important American composer of his day-a time when American music was based primarily on European models. Antonin Dvorák called on American composers to turn to indigenous sources, such as Negro spirituals and Indian tribal music, for inspiration. MacDowell flatly rejected this, commenting, "What Negro melodies have to do with Americanism remains a mystery to me." Thus, in the Piano Concerto No. 1 we hear the comfortable old echoes of the Grieg A minor and, in the finale, Dvorák's own concerto. MacDowell's second concerto displays a noticeably higher degree of originality, though here too the European influence is clear, in this case Read more Saint-Saëns. The dark and portentous opening creates a mood of anticipation before the piano enters to launch the drama of the first movement. The finale is brisk and exciting, with some wonderfully bravura piano writing, with which soloist Stephen Prutsman unreservedly flaunts his brilliant technique. He's just as fine in the brief Witches' Dance, which is rather tame and far less spooky than we have come to expect after the likes of Berlioz. The soothing sounds of MacDowell's gentle Romance for Cello and Orchestra close this interesting program. As on many other Naxos recordings, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland (led here by Arthur Fagen) delivers performances of international caliber. Fine sound, too." - ClassicsToday.com (Victor Carr, Jr.), January 15, 2001 Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in A minor, Op. 15 by Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Stephen Prutsman (Piano)
Conductor:  Arthur Fagan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; Frankfurt, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 25 Minutes 3 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in D minor, Op. 23 by Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Stephen Prutsman (Piano)
Conductor:  Arthur Fagan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1886; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 25 Minutes 55 Secs. 
3.
Fantasiestücke (2), Op. 17: no 2, Hexentanz by Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Stephen Prutsman (Piano)
Conductor:  Arthur Fagan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: Ver: Piano and Orch 
4.
Romance for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 35 by Edward MacDowell
Performer:  Aisling Drury-Byrne (Cello)
Conductor:  Arthur Fagan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Largely Forgotten Early American Composer March 5, 2017 By owen  ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "Macdowell was like a fish swimming upstream: he struggled to reach a goal that seemed to elude him. At a time when new musical styles were developing and Dvorak was urging the creation of an American music based on ethnic roots, he declared ''purely national music has no place in art.'' He continued composing based on european models. Although he was Columbia University's first professor of music, he lost that position in a dispute over course content. After leaving Columbia his health declined and he passed away four years later (1904). Since then he has slipped pretty much into obscurity. As to these concertos, they may not be ground breaking but they are melodically pleasing and are easy listening. The artistic forces involved in these performances are very good as is the recording." Report Abuse
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