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Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Secular & Sacred Music to 1900$
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Laurel Parsons and Brenda Ravenscroft

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190237028

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190237028.001.0001

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Fanny Hensel, “Von dir, mein Lieb, ich scheiden muss” (1841) and “Ich kann wohl manchmal singen” (1846)

Fanny Hensel, “Von dir, mein Lieb, ich scheiden muss” (1841) and “Ich kann wohl manchmal singen” (1846)

Chapter:
(p.149) 7 Fanny Hensel, “Von dir, mein Lieb, ich scheiden muss” (1841) and “Ich kann wohl manchmal singen” (1846)
Source:
Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Secular & Sacred Music to 1900
Author(s):

Stephen Rodgers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190237028.003.0007

This chapter challenges the common view that Fanny Hensel’s songs are spontaneous, unpredictable, and guided by “fantasy.” An examination of her song beginnings—which tend to veer quickly from their home keys—reveals that Hensel relied on a handful of recurring patterns but presented them in such a way as to create the illusion of fantasy. The essay focuses on two contrapuntal “schemata” common in her songs—involving opening modulations to the submediant or supertonic—and presents analyses of two songs that use both schemata: “Von dir, mein Lieb, ich scheiden muss” (1841) and “Ich kann wohl manchmal singen” (1846). Taken together, these songs offer the clearest demonstration of Hensel’s uncanny ability to compose pieces that seem to wander freely, as if guided only by the needs of the present moment, even as they tread well-worn paths.

Keywords:   Fanny Hensel, lieder, schemata, modulation, fantasy

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