Talk:Edward MacDowell

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If I had known that people would attempt to expand this stub with text from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, I would've never written the stub in the first place. Whatever the cultural impact of the 1911 EB may be, it is a lousy reference work to rely on. Just looking over the text for this article, I can spot one error: the mistaken claim that MacDowell destroyed his first eight Opuses. They were in fact published under a pseudonym. Dmetric 20:19, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Excised 1911 EB Text[edit]

MacDowell's father, an Irishman of Belfast, had emigrated to America shortly before the boy's birth. He had a varied education in music, first under Spanish-American teachers, and then in Europe, at Paris (Claude Debussy being a fellow pupil), Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Weimar, where he was chiefly influenced by Joachim Raff and Franz Liszt. From 1879 to 1887 he lived in Germany, teaching and studying, and also appearing as solo pianist at important concerts. In 1884 he married Marian Nevins, of New York. In 1888 he returned to America, and settled in Boston till in 1896 he was made professor of music at Columbia University, New York. He resigned this post in 1904, and in 1905 overwork and insomnia resulted in a complete cerebral collapse.

Deeply influenced by modern French models and by German romanticism, full of poetry and atmosphere, and founded on the programme, idea of composition, it is essentially creative in the spirit of a searcher after delicate truths of artistic expression. His employment of touches of American folk-song, suggested by Indian themes, is, characteristic. This is notably the case with his orchestral Indian Suite (1896) and Woodland Sketches for the piano. His first concerto, in A minor, for piano and orchestra, and first pianoforte suite, were performed at Weimar in 1882. His works include orchestral suites and poems, songs, choruses, and various pieces for pianoforte, his own instrument; they are numbered from op. 9 to op. 62, his first eight numbered works being destroyed by him.

Insanity and syphilis[edit]

Re this edit, let me quote a para from Webster's New World Dictionary of Music (Nicolas Slonimsky, ed. Richard Kassel):

Through a combination of the trauma that resulted from this episode [a reference to the previous paragraph], an accident with a hansom, and the development of what was probably tertiary syphilis, MacDowell rapidly deteriorated mentally, showing signs of depression, extreme irritability, and gradual loss of vital functions, eventually lapsing into total insanity, spending the last 2 years of his life in a childlike state, unaware of his surroundings. A public appeal was launched to raise funds for his care (1906); among the signers were Parker, Herbert, Foote, Chadwick, F. Converse, A. Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and former President Cleveland.

So much for speculation, lack of documentation and lack of relevance. I've reverted the edit. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:42, 9 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

comments on this by Prismsplay: "Insanity" is not a precise term. "Syphilis" is more precise, but it suggests a life style in MacDowell that has not been established as factual. The reason for MacDowell's mental deterioration has never been satifactorily explained. Therefore, to take one theory, such as the affects of syphilis, and to try to brand MacDowell with that, is unjustified. JackofOz's revision and comments supporting it suggest that JackofOz WANTS that to have been the case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Prismsplay (talkcontribs) 03:48, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, it's not that he wants it to be the case. He's quite indifferent to it one way or another. He's simply reporting what reputable commentators have said. It may indeed not have been syphilis, but it has certainly long been speculated that it was syphilis, and there's no reason we can't report such speculation as long as we don't claim it's factual, which JackofOz's edit did not do. -- JackofOz (talk) 05:47, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've read a lot on Edward MacDowell. He was the topic of my undergraduate thesis, and I never saw anything about syphilis. Most people commented that his degradation was most likely due to the carriage accident he had. Romantic Geek (talk) 16:08, 9 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

better photo wanted[edit]

Finding the extensive rules about uploading files intimidating, I am requesting that someone familiar with rules and procedures upload a better photo of Edward MacDowell than the lousy one now shown. Normally anything presented by the Library of Congress is in the public domain. So I am requesting that the 1903 photo of MacDowell on a Library of Congress web page be used to replace the lousy one. Here is the website for the better photo: Prismsplay (talk) 12:30, 10 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recordings section[edit]

With several recordings of the two piano concertos (Centaur, Hyperion, Naxos, one deleted on Olympia along with the label, ...) and a complete(?) recording of the piano music on Naxos/Marco Polo released and (I believe) still available, for starters, it seems that the Recordings section is only a beginning. Will attempt to improve it. Schissel | Sound the Note! 01:49, 17 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This humangous article is in need of an infobox, don't you all think?--Mishae (talk) 06:16, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not at all. How would it simplify his extraordinary career? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:30, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, that means no (sigh)?--Mishae (talk) 09:50, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:12, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I personaly believe that every composer suppose to have an infobox, just like any other article in this project. Why compose suppose to receive a "special privelege"?--Mishae (talk) 14:48, 20 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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