Mendelssohn-Hensel: Songs, Vol. 1

Mendelssohn-Hensel: Songs, Vol. 1

by Dorothea Craxton
     
 

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, younger sister of Felix, undeniably shared in the family gift, and just as undeniably had that gift suppressed by the ways of the world she lived in. Her strongest support came not from her brother, who passed off her songs as his own on occasion, but from her husband, artist William Hensel. Mendelssohn-Hensel's songs are simpler than Felix's… See more details below

Overview

Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, younger sister of Felix, undeniably shared in the family gift, and just as undeniably had that gift suppressed by the ways of the world she lived in. Her strongest support came not from her brother, who passed off her songs as his own on occasion, but from her husband, artist William Hensel. Mendelssohn-Hensel's songs are simpler than Felix's and have an attractive melodic aspect. There seems to be an undercurrent of tension in some of them, and performers have tried biographical approaches, sometimes pairing Fanny's songs with Felix's, to try to bring out the deeper levels of Fanny's works. German soprano Dorothea Craxton, who has also recorded music of Clara Schumann, offers a more straightforward program. Her rather small voice, which tends toward a very slight vibrato, feels idiomatic to this drawing-room repertory, but sample it to see what you think; it's not to all tastes. Craxton's program highlights Mendelssohn-Hensel's inclination toward texts by the greats of German poetry; arguably the texts she set were of higher quality than those favored by either her brother or Franz Schubert. Her favorite poet was Eichendorff, whose strongly metrical, slightly sentimental, but not trivial or unsubtle lyrics were a good match for her music. "Nachtwanderer" (Night Wanderer, track 7) offers an unusually good example of the restless spirit lurking in Mendelssohn-Hensel's songs, and Craxton is alert to this flavor. The Mendelssohn room of the Gewandhaus in Leipzig provided a fine sound environment for this solid disc of Mendelssohn-Hensel's songs, the first in a series.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/15/2009
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313098170
catalogNumber:
8570981
Rank:
223320

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Im Herbst ("Der Wald wird falb, die Blätter fallen"), for voice & piano  - Fanny Mendelssohn  - Joseph (Karl Benedikt) Freiherr von Eichendorff  - Dorothea Craxton  - Babette Dorn
  2. Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 1  - Fanny Mendelssohn  - Joseph (Karl Benedikt) Freiherr von Eichendorff  - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  - Heinrich Heine  - Emanuel Geibel  - Dorothea Craxton  - Babette Dorn
  3. Songs (5) for voice & piano, Op. 10  - Fanny Mendelssohn  - Joseph (Karl Benedikt) Freiherr von Eichendorff  - Nikolaus Lenau  - Emanuel Geibel  - Dorothea Craxton  - Babette Dorn
  4. Songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 7  - Fanny Mendelssohn  - Joseph (Karl Benedikt) Freiherr von Eichendorff  - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  - Nikolaus Lenau  - Friedrich Rückert  - Dorothea Craxton  - Babette Dorn

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