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Fanny Mendelssohn


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Fanny Cäcilie Mendelssohn (14th November 1805–14th May 1847), later Fanny Hensel, was a German pianist and composer, and was the sister of Felix Mendelssohn; they were the grandchildren of the distinguished Jewish philosopher, Moses Mendelssohn.

Fanny Mendelssohn composed 466 pieces of music, including a piano trio and several books of solo piano pieces and songs. A number of her songs were originally published under her brother’s name in his opus 8 and 9 collections. One of these songs, “Italy”, was a favourite of Queen Victoria, who thought Felix had written it. Her piano works are often in the manner of songs, and carry the name “Lieder ohne Worte” (Songs without Words). This style of piano work was most successfully developed by her brother, though some modern scholars assert that Fanny may have preceded him in the genre. She was also the only known composer of the time to depict the months of the year musically, which she did in her collection of pieces Das Jahr (“The Year”).


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  • Guttebass

    Highly underrated piano composer. Unfortunately she remains in the shadow of her brother Felix.

    15 Mar 10:30pm Reply
  • Grosseteste

    NB: the recording by The Dartington Piano Trio of piano trios by Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn has a mistake in the sleeve notes. It refers to the Mendellsohn's piano trio as "Piano trio in D major, op. 11" when it's in fact in D minor.

    12 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Forteski

    Feminine Talent group:

    22 May 2012 Reply
  • Grosseteste

    "Shouldn't it be Mendelssohn-Hensel?" No, she's almost always known as Fanny Mendelssohn (there seems to be fashion at the moment for using the Hensel -- but inconsistently: sometimes Hensel-Mendelssohn, sometime Mendelssohn-Hensel).

    27 Jun 2008 Reply
  • Amina172

    19 Oct 2007 Reply

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