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Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel - JPop.com
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Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel


Fanny Cäcilie Mendelssohn (14 November 1805 – 14 May 1847), later Fanny Hensel, was a German pianist and composer, the sister of the composer Felix Mendelssohn and granddaughter of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. Fanny Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, the oldest of four children. She was descended on both sides from distinguished Jewish families; her parents were Abraham Mendelssohn (who was the son of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and later changed the family surname to Mendelssohn Bartholdy) Read more on Last.fm
Fanny Cäcilie Mendelssohn (14 November 1805 – 14 May 1847), later Fanny Hensel, was a German pianist and composer, the sister of the composer Felix Mendelssohn and granddaughter of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. Fanny Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, the oldest of four children. She was descended on both sides from distinguished Jewish families; her parents were Abraham Mendelssohn (who was the son of philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and later changed the family surname to Mendelssohn Bartholdy), and Lea, née Salomon, a granddaughter of the entrepreneur Daniel Itzig. She was not however brought up as Jewish, and never practised Judaism, though according to Professor Marcia J.

Citron "Fanny retained the cultural values of liberal Judaism". Fanny shared the early musical education and upbringing of her younger brother Felix, including tuition from Carl Friedrich Zelter and others. Zelter indeed at one point favoured Fanny over Felix: he wrote to Goethe in 1816, in a letter introducing Abraham Mendelssohn to the poet, 'He has adorable children and his oldest daughter could give you something of Sebastian Bach. This child is really something special'. However, Fanny was limited by prevailing attitudes of the time toward women, attitudes apparently shared by her father, who was tolerant, rather than supportive, of her activities as a composer. Her father wrote to her in 1820 "Music will perhaps become his [i.e.

Felix's] profession, while for you it can and must be only an ornament". Although Felix was privately broadly supportive of her as a composer and a performer, he was cautious (professedly for family reasons) of her publishing her works under her own name. He wrote: 'From my knowledge of Fanny I should say that she has neither inclination nor vocation for authorship. She is too much all that a woman ought to be for this.

She regulates her house, and neither thinks of the public nor of the musical world, nor even of music at all, until her first duties are fulfilled. Publishing would only disturb her in these, and I cannot say that I approve of it'. Felix did however arrange with her for a number of her songs to be published under his name. This led to an embarrassing moment when Queen Victoria, receiving Felix at Buckingham Palace, expressed her intention of singing the composer her favourite of his songs: Mendelssohn confessed it was by Fanny. In 1829, after a courtship of several years, Fanny married the painter Wilhelm Hensel and the following year she had her only child, Sebastian Ludwig Felix Hensel. Her husband was supportive of her composing. Subsequently, her works were often played alongside her brother's at the family home in Berlin in a sunday concert series (Sonntagskonzerte), which was originally organized by Fanny's father, and after 1831 carried on by Fanny herself.

Her public debut at the piano (and only known public performance) came in 1838, when she played her brother's Piano Concerto No. 1. In 1846, she decided, without consulting Felix, to publish a collection of her songs (as her op. 1). Fanny Hensel died in Berlin in 1847 of complications from a stroke suffered while rehearsing one of her brother's oratorios, The First Walpurgis Night.

Felix himself died less than six months later from the same cause (which was also responsible for the deaths of both of their parents and of their grandfather Moses), but not before writing his String Quartet No. 6 in F minor in memory of his sister. Fanny Mendelssohn composed 466 pieces of music. Her compositions include a piano trio and several books of solo piano pieces and songs. A number of her songs were originally published under Felix's name in his opus 8 and 9 collections.

Her piano works are often in the manner of songs, and many carry the name Lied ohne Worte (Song without Words). This style (and title) of piano music was most successfully developed by Felix Mendelssohn, though some modern scholars assert that Fanny may have preceded him in the genre. She also wrote, amongst other works for the piano, a cycle of pieces depicting the months of the year, Das Jahr ("The Year"). The music was written on coloured sheets of paper, and illustrated by her husband Wilhelm. Each piece was also accompanied by a short poem. In a letter from Rome, Fanny Mendelssohn described the process behind composing Das Jahr: I have been composing a good deal lately, and have called my piano pieces after the names of my favourite haunts, partly because they really came into my mind at these spots, partly because our pleasant excursions were in my mind while I was writing them.

They will form a delightful souvenir, a kind of second diary. But do not imagine that I give these names when playing them in society, they are for home use entirely. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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