Tune of the Day: To a Wild Rose
Edward MacDowell was an American composer and pianist of the Romantic period, one of the earliest American composers to achieve fame both in his homeland and in Europe. His ten Woodland Sketches for solo piano, published in New York in 1896, have remained the composer's best-known work. They were probably inspired by his summer residence in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and its peaceful woodland surroundings.
“To a Wild Rose”, the first of the Woodland Sketches, is a thoroughly delightful piece and typifies so much MadDowell's solo piano music style. This modest miniature offers an instantly memorable theme, and despite its brevity and modest character it has become one of the most popular piano works by an American composer.
One note about the tempo: this piece is often played very slowly, down to 60 BPM; however, MacDowell explicitly indicated a tempo of 88 BPM. As someone pointed out, this miniature is intended to be an ode to a wild rose, not to a cultivated one!