Composer Corner: Mendelssohn-Hensel

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (Portrait by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim|The Jewish Museum, New York)
Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (Portrait by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim | The Jewish Museum, New York)

November’s composer of the month is Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel (FAN-ee MEN-dle-szawn HEN-sle).


Born: November 14, 1805

Died: May 14, 1847


Five facts:

• Fanny was the eldest child of her family, which included younger brother and renowned composer Felix Mendelssohn. By some accounts, she was regarded as the better pianist of the two.
• When she was only 14, Fanny performed 24 preludes from J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier for her father — from memory.
• Fanny married a painter named Wilhelm Hensel, and they had one son, which they named after Fanny’s favorite three composers — Sebastian Ludwig Felix Hensel.
• She composed over 460 works —  a number of which were originally published under Felix’s name.
• Fanny’s last major composition — the Piano Trio in D minor Op. 11 — was written for her sister, Rebecka.


Three important works:

• Piano Sonata in C minor (1824)
• Das Jahr (1841)
• Piano Trio in D major, Op. 11 (1847)


Audio Backpack playlist: Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel

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