Saturday, December 10, 2016

Carpe Diem #1092 Fantasy in g-moll for Cello by Fanny Mendelssohn

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It is my pleasure to present to you another beautiful piece of music composed by a female composer. Today I have chosen to share with and inspire you with a composition by Fanny Mendelssohn. Let me first tell you a little bit more about her.

Fanny Mendelssohn:

Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 – 1847), later Fanny Mendelssohn Bartholdy and, after her marriage, Fanny Hensel, was a German pianist and composer. She composed over 460 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). 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 Hensel. Each piece was also accompanied by a short poem.
Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847)
Fanny Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, the oldest of four children, including the composer Felix Mendelssohn. Fanny received her first piano instruction from her mother, who had been trained in the Berliner-Bach tradition by Johann Kirnberger, who was himself a student of Johann Sebastian Bach. Thus as a thirteen year old, Fanny could already play all 24 Preludes from Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier by heart, and she did so in honor of her father's birthday in 1818. She studied briefly with the pianist Marie Bigot in Paris, and finally with Ludwig Berger. In 1820 Fanny, along with her brother Felix, joined the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin which was led by Carl Friedrich Zelter. Zelter at one point favored Fanny over Felix: he wrote to Johann Wolfgang von 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'. Much later, in an 1831 letter to Goethe, Zelter described Fanny's skill as a pianist with the highest praise for a woman at the time: "She plays like a man." Both Fanny and Felix received instruction in composition with Zelter starting in 1819.
Fanny showed prodigious musical ability as a child and began to write music. Visitors to the Mendelssohn household in the early 1820s, including Ignaz Moscheles and Sir George Smart, were equally impressed by both siblings. She may also have been influenced by the role-models of her great-aunts Fanny von Arnstein and Sarah Levy, both lovers of music, the former the patroness of a well-known salon and the latter a skilled keyboard player in her own right. (source: wikipedia)

Well ... did I say to much? A beautiful piece of music composed by Fanny Mendelssohn. I hope this composition will inspire you to create haiku or tanka.

fantasy world unfolds
while the wind tears clouds apart
in sunny colors
clouds moving, changing everlasting
fantasy world unfolds

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 15th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Concertino pour harpe et piano by Germaine Tailleferre, later on.


  1. Superb piece of music. Your tsnka was v nice yet thunderous and dramatic next to the piece, which as I listened more I understood...

  2. I am loving all this wonderful music. It is inspiring. Thank you!