1805–1847

Fanny Hensel

Fanny Hensel was one of the most prolific and original song composers of the nineteenth century. She composed almost 250 songs, among which are some of the most pathbreaking and affecting songs of her era. Only a handful of these songs were published during her lifetime, but thankfully, all of her song scores are now available, and many have been professionally recorded. Scholars are also writing about them as never before. After years of neglect, Fanny Hensel’s songs are finally receiving their due, but more editions, performances, and explorations of this repertoire are needed.

Additional Resources

Unlike many of the other composers featured on this forum, Fanny Hensel has been studied in depth, and her songs are finally being given the attention they deserve. The writing on Hensel’s songs is quite extensive. Here are some useful sources you might consult if you want to learn more about her extraordinary songs:

Did you know?

Fanny Hensel’s op. 1 (a collection of six songs) was published in the summer of 1846, less than a year before she died of a stroke at the age of 41.

Video Recordings

Baritone Tobias Berndt and pianist Alexander Fleischer perform two of Hensel’s Goethe settings.

“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh," HU 285, 1835
“Wanderlied,” op. 1, no. 2, HU 317, 1837

Accessing Scores

The original versions of Hensel’s published song opuses (opp. 1, 7, 9, and 10) can be accessed via the International Music Score Library project (IMSLP). Breitkopf & Härtel has published two volumes of her songs in modern edition. Many other songs are available in editions published by Furore Verlag. Timothy Parker-Langston has engraved all of Hensel’s unpublished songs and provided them on a site called Hensel Songs Online.

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