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Fanny Mendelssohn: Songs
Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix’s older sister, was long and unjustly overlooked as a serious composer, despite a considerable and impressive output comprising numerous piano pieces, duets, trios, choral works, chamber music for different instruments, an overture, an oratorio, several major cantatas—and innumerable songs. She was writing music at a time when it was considered unsuitable for a woman from the upper middle classes to have ambitions as a professional musician. Despite her gifts and desire for recognition, throughout most of her life Fanny respected the prevailing conventions and the wishes of her family, accepting the prescribed role of a cultivated Berlin lady of the time.
This recording is devoted to 29 of her beautiful songs. Most of them were recorded here for the first time. The poets include Goethe, Heine, Eichendorff, Rückert, Lenau and Geibel, most of whom were known to Fanny personally.
“[Fanny Mendelssohn’s] reputation deserves the kind of boost this excellent disc offers. Both Eugene Asti and Susan Gritton get to the heart of these pieces” BBC Music Magazine
“Pleasant, delightful … an excellent record: enterprising programmes, fresh young artists, fine presentation, typical Hyperion” Gramophone Magazine
“Beautiful, direct, simple and memorable new song[s] …Asti provides the beautifully limpid, balanced accompaniment you imagine Fanny herself might have played” International Record Review
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Mendelssohn-Hensel: Songs Volume 1
Dorothea Craxton (soprano) & Babette Dorn (piano)
A gifted composer of some 500 works, mainly songs and small piano pieces, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel has been eclipsed by the fame of her younger brother Felix Mendelssohn.
Yet her sensitivity in setting the German Romantic poets she loved, principally Goethe, Heine, Geibel and von Eichendorff, warrants greater attention.
Like Clara Schumann, whose songs Dorothea Craxton has also recorded for Naxos (8570747), Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel possessed a distinct and richly powerful musical voice, by turns introspective, melancholic, delicate, lilting and serene – which deserves to be heard on its own terms.
(also available to download from $6.00)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)