Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Und Wüssten's Die Blumen: Ausgewählte Lieder Für Singstimme Und Gitarre/(And If the Flowers Knew: Selected Songs for Voice and Guitar)

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Und Wüssten's Die Blumen: Ausgewählte Lieder Für Singstimme Und Gitarre/(And If the Flowers Knew: Selected Songs for Voice and Guitar)

Article excerpt

Und wüssten's die Blumen: Ausgewählte Lieder für Singstimme und Gitarre(And if the flowers knew: Selected songs for voice and guitar). Fanny Hensel (geb. Mendelssohn). Kassel: Furore Verlag, 2015. Medium to medium high voice. Difficulty level: beginner.

This collection of songs by Fanny Hensel (nee Mendelssohn) by Furore, a publishing house specializing in the championing of women composers, has been arranged for guitar and voice by Guido Böger and his wife, singer Margaret Ellen Fitzgerald. It is an excellent introduction to Hensel's lieder, and an ideal resource for the undergraduate singer seeking to program and perform them in an unusual format. In his preface, guitarist Böger acknowledges the limitations of the instrument, in comparison to the piano, for "limitations imposed in its choice of keys, in its range and the possibility of expressing complex harmonic excursions." However, Böger and Fitzgerald have chosen carefully and well the songs in this volume; most of the twelve songs are strophic settings of the poetry of Hensel's contemporaries, and reflect the Volkslieder influence characteristic of her earlier style, with its syllabic text setting, arpeggiated accompaniments, and generous vocal range. The songs selected mark Hensel's frustrated attempt, made late in her life, to publish and print her own songs, after a lifetime of relegation to a typical woman's role spent in the shadow of her more famous brother, Felix Mendelssohn.

Fanny Hensel was educated musically equally with her brother, and was an accomplished pianist and composer in her own right. …

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