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MacDowell: The Symphonic Poems


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Audio CD, June 22, 1999
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$16.87
$9.59 $4.44

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$16.87 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Two Fragments after the Song of Roland, Op. 30: I. The Saracens 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Two Fragments after the Song of Roland, Op. 30: II. The Lovely Alda 7:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Hamlet/Ophelia, Op. 22: I. Hamlet 9:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Hamlet/Ophelia, Op. 22: II. Ophelia 7:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Lancelot und Elaine, Op: 2518:38Album Only
listen  6. Lamia, Op. 2917:33Album Only

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Kurt Krueger
  • Composer: Edward Macdowell
  • Audio CD (June 22, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bridge
  • ASIN: B00000JCG5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,834 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eric J Hearst on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This recording allows for new listeners to appreciate the contributions of American composers to the furhter development of program music or what is called symphonic/tone poems. The US Library of Congress issued this recording of pices first recorded in 1958 but never released. Through technical expertise, everything has been updated and the beauty of MacDowell's music shines through, particulary in Hamlet/Ophelia (Tracks 3&4). Excellent booklet notes give a good overview of each poems composition. Recommended for people who enjoy the tone poems of R. Strauss and Franz Liszt.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Night Owl out on the Town on June 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
MacDowell was highly regarded in his day, but now is known for a few piano pieces and his second piano conerto, which occasionally turns up. Andre Watts and Van Cliburn among others have championed it.
MacDowell was a very accomplished composer in a post-Lisztian/pre-Impressionistic vein. These compositions lack only melodic memorability to make them staples of the repertory.
These are old recordings from the 1960's made fresh as new by great restoration. Karl Krueger provides strong advocacy ably backed by the great Royal Philharmonic of London in its heyday. Well worth a hearing.
Bravo Bridge for rescuing them from the attic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan Montgomery on September 17, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are not brand new recordings. It's okay, because you can't tell it. Karl Kreuger leads spirited and atmospheric performances. MacDowell can come across turgid at times, but these performances don't. The pieces are well played and capture the varied moods involved. The "two fragments from Song of Roland" - Saracens and Lovely Alda - are short and easy listening, a little bigger than the miniatures MacDowell does so well, but still impressive. Hamlet/Ophelia (opus 22, is a great pairing. The pieces don't represent specific scenes from Shakespeare, but more aspects of the characters involved. "Lancelot and Elaine" (based on Mallory, of course), and Lamia are of greater consequence. They are wonderfully evocative pieces. For style, think something between Liszt and Tchaikovsky, with a little Sibelius thrown in. The repertoire may not be well known, but here it sounds like major music.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G.D. TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 4, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One may initially find it a bit curious that MacDowell’s orchestral works aren’t promoted more than it is – there aren’t that many examples of American romantic tone poems, and MacDowell is usually considered one of the more significant American romantic composers – so this Bridge issue certainly fills a gap. That said, it also provides some indication why MacDowell’s tone poems aren’t performed more often. First of all, there is nothing particularly American about this music – indeed, if one harbors the suspicion that MacDowell almost consciously avoided writing music that could be identified as particularly American, then that suspicion is confirmed here.

Stylistically these works are, in fact, rather anonymous. That is not to say, however, that MacDowell wasn’t a fine composer. The Two Fragments after the Song of Roland reveal a certain melodic gift and ability to conjure up evocative atmosphere (I would compare it to the music of George Templeton Strong, but Strong’s output may be just as much a closed book to most potential listeners – I suppose Liszt may be the most obvious continental model); they are not masterpieces by any stretch of the imagination, but enjoyable and appealing nonetheless. The same applies to the more familiar but structurally strange Hamlet/Ophelia – this is, in fact, not one tone poem but two only cursorily linked pieces, and while both are rather short on drama and fire, they both contain some exciting and lovely music, well worth hearing.

I was less impressed by the last two, far more substantial works. Both Lancelot & Elaine and Lamia strike me as meandering, and though there are some good ideas, they are certainly not good enough to sustain the substantial structures and ambitious treatments MacDowell evidently set out for them.
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