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Mendelssohn, Fanny (1805-1847)

Fanny Mendelssohn

born: 14 November 1805
died: 14 May 1847
country: Germany

This extraordinarily gifted composer contributed some 250 lieder to the repertory. Her work is still undervalued, and only a fraction it has been performed and recorded. As the sister of Felix Mendelssohn she benefited from a splendid musical education (she studied with Zelter and Ludwig Berger among others). Nevertheless, as the eldest daughter of a Jewish family (where wealth and religious conversion did not guarantee a liberal attitude to a woman becoming a professional musician) she was under constant pressure to fulfil her domestic destiny as a daughter and prospective wife. It must have caused her untold distress that her musical significance was discounted in this way, but she seems to have dutifully suppressed an open expression of these feelings. In 1829 she married the painter William Hensel (whose poem Am Maienfeste was set to music by Berger during his early days in Berlin when he was a friend of Wilhelm Müller). Happily Hensel valued his wife’s musical talents, and she soon became an important part of musical life in Berlin where she was renowned as a conductor and organizer of Sunday concerts. Her early death from a heart attack at the age of forty-two shocked her brother Felix so much that it is said to have hastened his own premature death.

from notes by Graham Johnson 2006

Albums

Mendelssohn & Schumann: Piano Trios
CDH55078Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Mendelssohn: Lieder
CDH55360Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Mendelssohn: Songs and Duets, Vol. 1
CDA66906
Mendelssohn: Songs and Duets, Vol. 3
CDA67388
Schubert: The Complete Songs
CDS44201/4040CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Schumann & Mendelssohn: Piano Trios
CDH55078Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Songs by Schubert's contemporaries
CDJ33051/33CDs

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

Abendbild  
Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen  
An des Beetes Umbuschung  
An des lust'gen Brunnens Rand  
Auf des Gartens Mauerzinne  
Aus meinen Tränen sprießen (Mendelssohn)
Bergeslust  
Bitte  
Brächte dich meinem Arm der nächste Frühling!  
Dämmrung senkte sich von oben (Mendelssohn)
Das Heimweh  
Dein ist mein Herz  
Der Maiabend  
Der Rosenkranz  
Die Ersehnte  
Die frühen Gräber  
Die Mainacht  
Die Nonne  
Die Schiffende (Mendelssohn)
Du bist die Ruh  
Du klagst, dass bange Wehmut dich beschleicht  
Erwin  
Es fällt ein Stern herunter  
Fern und ferner schallt der Reigen  
Ferne  
Five Songs, Op 10 (Mendelssohn)
Friedlicher Abend senkt sich aufs Gefilde  
Frühling  
Gondellied  
Ich wandelte unter den Bäumen (Mendelssohn)
Ich wandre durch die stille Nacht  
Ihr fernen Heimathöhen  
Ihr verblühet, süsse Rosen  
Im Herbste  
Im stillen Klostergarten  
Im wunderschönen Monat Mai (Mendelssohn)
In den Wipfeln frische Lüfte  
Italien  
Läuten kaum die Maienglocken  
Maienlied  
Morgenständchen  
Nach Süden  
Nachtwanderer  
O alte Heimat süss!  
O komm zu mir wenn durch die Nacht  
O Lust vom Berg zu schauen  
Piano Trio in D major, Op 11 (Mendelssohn)
Schöner und schöner schmückt sich der Plan  
Schwanenlied  
Sehnsucht  
Sie wankt dahin, die Abendwinde spielen  
Six Songs, Op 1 (Mendelssohn)
Six Songs, Op 7 (Mendelssohn)
Suleika (Mendelssohn)
Suleika und Hatem  
Traum (Mendelssohn)
Twelve Songs, Op 8 (Mendelssohn)
Twelve Songs, Op 9 (Mendelssohn)
Übern Garten durch die Lüfte  
Umweht von Maiduft  
Und wüssten's die Blumen, die kleinen  
Verlust  
Von allen Zweigen schwingen  
Von den Bergen zu den Hügeln  
Vorwurf  
Wanderlied  
Wann der silberne Mond durch die Gesträuche blinkt  
Warum sind denn die Rosen so blass?  
Was ist's, das mir den Atem hemmet  
Weil' auf mir, du dunkles Auge  
Wenn ich in deine Augen sehe (Mendelssohn)
Willkommen, o silberner Mond  
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