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.
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:
- Rodgers, Stephen, ed. The Songs of Fanny Hensel. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021.
- Rodgers, Stephen, ed. “Fanny Hensel’s Lied Aesthetic.” Journal of Musicological Research 30 (2011): 175–201.
- Todd, R. Larry. Fanny Hensel: The Other Mendelssohn. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Maurer, Annette. Thematisches Verzeichnis der klavierbegleiteten Sololieder Fanny Hensels. Kassel: Furore, 1997.