by Opal Wheeler
At last he walked slowly to the piano and everyone leaned forward to look at the tall, handsome figure with black hair and serious blue eyes. When all was quiet, Edward began to play. Strong, ringing chords came from the piano and sounded to the far corners of the hall like a great orchestra. Then came light, swiftly running passages that grew louder and louder until the music swept over the keys with such power that the people sat up, spellbound. Here was a great artist, indeed! There was a storm of applause when he had finished playing, and MacDowell was called to the stage again and again until he sat to play his own compositions. When the pieces were finished, there were cries of "Bravo! MacDowell! MacDowell!"
And here is his story, told by the distinguished author-musicians who gave us "Mozart, the Wonder Boy," "Haydn, the Merry Little Peasant," "Bach, the Boy from Thuringia," and "Franz Schubert and His Merry Friends," - a sensitive, appealing and lively biography of America's beloved composer which boys and girls (all others, too) will take to their hearts and treasure.
His Quaker beginnings, his irrepressible interest in music, his youthful triumphs abroad, his visit to the master, Franz Liszt, who greeted him warmly and asked him back again to play at the festival in Zurich - his romance with his pupil, the lovely Marian Nevins, their marriage and return to America, the launching of the Peterboro, New Hampshire, colony, which bears his name - these are some of the delightful stories in the rich career of America's greatest composer, told gently, sensitively and with feeling, in a truly inspiring book.