In homage to the taste of their Francophile father, both Felix and Fanny were drawn to the works of Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794), imprisoned for his participation in French republican activities in 1794; although he escaped execution and was released, he died at his estate only a few months later. He wrote fables, romances and idylls in the style of Salomon Gessner (another Mendelssohn poet), as well as the immortal Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un instant
; Pauvre Jeanette
is a gentle lament for a lass who preferred a shepherd to a king. The young Mendelssohn sets these quasi-folkloric words as an artfully simple plaint in minor mode.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2010