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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, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 25 January 2022

Songs of Travel

Songs of Travel

Fanny Hensel’s Wanderings

(p.55) 4 Songs of Travel
The Songs of Fanny Hensel

Susan Wollenberg

Oxford University Press

The impact of gender on freedom is vividly conveyed by Fanny Hensel’s letter to her cousin Marianne from the Saint Gotthard Pass in 1822, on a family trip: I spent a day . . . I’ll keep forever in my heart, and will remember with emotion for a long time to come. . . . [I] was observing, on the Italian border, the finest, most gracious, and pleasant scene that man can imagine when destiny cried out to me: so far, and no further! . . . If I had been a young lad of sixteen yesterday, my God! I would have had to fight against committing some great folly.” As Felix’s career acquired an international perspective, Fanny craved his descriptions of foreign parts. The motif of travel was threaded through her life—whether as reality, dream, or vicarious experience. Also threaded through her life was her production of songs belonging to the categories of “songs of travel,” portraying journeying, wandering, and remote locations, whether reached or imagined. Immersed in such texts, Hensel was free to “travel” in her mind’s eye. This chapter offers close analytical and critical readings of the words and music of songs such as Hensel’s “Schwanenlied,” Op. 1, No. 1, “Gondellied,” Op. 1, No. 6, and “Bergeslust,” Op. 10, No. 5, in an effort to illuminate how the Lied (as a small, apparently enclosed genre) allowed Hensel to widen the horizons beyond her enclosed life.

Keywords:   Fanny Hensel, travel, gender, Lied, modulation

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