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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: 28 January 2022

Plagal Cadences in Fanny Hensel’s Songs

Plagal Cadences in Fanny Hensel’s Songs

(p.129) 8 Plagal Cadences in Fanny Hensel’s Songs
The Songs of Fanny Hensel

Stephen Rodgers

Oxford University Press

The past few years have seen an outpouring of research into the ways that Romantic composers distort the conventions of their Classical predecessors. One particular distortion involves the use of genuine plagal cadences that provide formal closure rather than follow a moment of formal closure; according to William Caplin, genuine plagal cadences are almost nonexistent in music written before 1850, and after that they are hardly commonplace. Fanny Hensel is an exception to this rule. Bona fide plagal cadences are common enough in her songs to emerge as a standard category of closure. This chapter examines three Hensel songs that close with plagal cadences—“Zu deines Lagers Füßen,” “Bitte,” and “Erwache Knab’ ”—arguing that they deserve to grouped among the most inventive songs of the early Romantic era, and that Hensel deserves to be seen as one of the era’s true tonal innovators.

Keywords:   Fanny Hensel, cadence, plagal cadence, musical closure, William Caplin, Romantic form

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