Let’s hear a song about spring, about a warm night in May, let’s hear about love and sorrow, the longing for home and the longing for Italy, where this composer felt at ease, far away from rigid Prussia, in a setting that gave birth to so many beautiful works: Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s talented sister. We have met Fanny already, an excellent pianist, an excellent composer, when I presented her piano cycle “Das Jahr” (H-U 385) and her Piano Trio in D minor (Op. 11) in an earlier post.
“Fanny, as I know her, neither has the wish nor the vocation to be known as the composer [of her works]. She is a good woman busy with housekeeping and doesn’t think about the audience or the world of music or music as such, unless she is done with that first job.” The author of these lines was no lesser genius than the German composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. In a letter he wrote in 1835 to his mother, he adamantly refused to support his sister pursuing a professional career as a pianist and a composer.