Composer of the Week – Fanny Mendelssohn

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Happy Belated Birthday to German pianist and composer Fanny Mendelssohn, who was born 206 years ago. Fanny was the older sister of Felix Mendelssohn, but she was a talented composer and pianist in her own right.

Fanny Mendelssohn’s musical talent was tolerated by her father, but she didn’t receive the musical training and encouragement that her brother did. She was primarily self-taught. Fortunately her husband was supportive of her composing and performing in private salons. Her first, and probably only public performance took place when she was 33, performing her brother’s first piano concerto. Fanny composed over 450 pieces, most of them solo piano works. Most of her works were unpublished during her lifetime, or published under Felix’s name, but the year before her death she decided to publish a song collection under her name.

Fanny wrote many solo piano works entitled Song Without Words. Here’s one of them:

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