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The Songs of Fanny Hensel$
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Stephen Rodgers

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780190919566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190919566.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Fanny Hensel’s Lieder (ohne Worte) and the Boundaries of Song

Fanny Hensel’s Lieder (ohne Worte) and the Boundaries of Song

The Curious Case of the Lied in D♭ major, Op. 8, No. 3

(p.217) 12 Fanny Hensel’s Lieder (ohne Worte) and the Boundaries of Song
The Songs of Fanny Hensel

R. Larry Todd

Oxford University Press

The subject of this chapter, Fanny Hensel’s Lied in D♭ major for piano solo, Op. 8, No. 3, might seem an anomalous choice for a volume devoted to the composer’s texted Lieder. But one could readily advance the argument that, like Schubert, Hensel was at her core a naturally gifted song composer who gave as free a rein to lyrical impulses in her purely instrumental music as she did in setting the verses of her favorite poets—Goethe, Tieck, Eichendorff, and Heine. Some of her piano pieces, which she typically titled Lieder or Klavierlieder, raise the question as to whether particular poetic sources lay behind their inspiration. Perhaps the most enigmatic of these examples is Op. 8, No. 3, which, when published posthumously in 1850, appeared with the title Lied, to which was added in parentheses “Lenau.” This chapter takes into account the sixteen Lenau settings composed by Hensel and her brother between 1839 and 1847, and considers whether Op. 8, No. 3 might be linked to specific verses of Lenau, or might offer, perhaps, a musical portrait of the poet, who suffered a mental collapse in 1844.

Keywords:   Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn, Nikolaus Lenau, Lied in D♭major, Op. 8, No. 3, Lieder

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