Special Event: The Music of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel

Member Randy Poe, pianist and Fanny Hensel enthusiast, is pleased to present a lecture and performance on “The Music of Fanny Hensel”, an introduction to the music and the life of one of the finest, though still relatively unknown, 19th century German Romantic composers.  After the presentation we will reconvene for dinner at Pietro's, 1714 Walnut St. 

Thanks to our friends at Philadelphia Fans of Classical Music and the Philadelphia Classical Music Meetup, we are collaborating with the presentation of an under-appreciated yet estimable composer, the sister of Felix Mendelssohn.


Fanny Hensel née Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was the elder sister of Felix Mendelssohn, like him a virtuoso pianist and a prolific composer beginning in childhood. However due to family pressure she was discouraged from public performance or publication of her work, instead composing nearly 500 pieces for private performance at her Sonntagmusik (Sunday Music) salons, for piano, chamber group, voice and what she called “my little chorus”.  Her music was largely forgotten from her death in 1847 until the late 20th century, when it was finally rediscovered and brought into print.


We will be sampling primarily her works for solo piano, including several untitled pieces and some selections from a cycle of 12 pieces called Das Jahr (The Year). While Das Jahr has been performed and recorded a number of times, so far as we know most of those performances are based on a manuscript first uncovered in 1979. Randy will be playing from a later manuscript, which includes substantial revisions and one piece (for June) which to the best of our knowledge has not been recorded.


If you like what you hear, we hope you’ll help Randy spread the word that this composer deserves a place on the mainstream stage alongside her contemporaries such as Beethoven, Chopin, and brother Felix.

Many thanks to Jacobs Music and Valerie Vogt for making the 2nd floor recital room at Jacobs Music available to our meetup group.  No refreshments will be served at the presentation, but all attendees are welcome to come to dinner at Pietro’s, at 1714 Walnut St.,  at 5:30.

Jacobs Music, at 1718 Chestnut St., is a short walk from City Hall Metro Station, and Suburban Train station.  If you will be driving, a map showing the location of nearby parking lots is HERE.  More information on parking facilities can be found on the PPA website, by entering the street address.

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  • Eleanor K.

    Randy did a terrific job both speaking and playing piano. An interesting, informative and enthusiastic presentation!

    May 3, 2014

  • Barbara M.

    Great! Randy is a most excellent & entertaining speaker, and the music was glorious. Now I just need to find some scores..

    May 3, 2014

  • David

    This event is posted on all three meetup groups. For people who are members of more than one of the groups, please RSVP in only one place. Attendance is limited, so please say yes only if you really intend to come.

    March 30, 2014

    • Randy

      I noticed I was RSVP-ed in two places, but I assumed that the organizers did that. I'm not sure whether I'm being counted twice or not. I'd hate to take my name off one list if that causes Meetup (or the organizers) to think I'm cancelling. My wife Pam has RSVP-ed separately as a member; I am +1 on this list on behalf of a non-member friend who has expressed an interest in attending.

      April 28, 2014

  • Doris D.

    I already RSVPd to Fans of Classical Music. Don't count me twice if there are limited spots. I would be delighted to join the group for dinner.

    April 27, 2014

  • David

    Message from Gary King, organizer of the PFCM: I have booked a reservation at Pietro’s, at 1714 Walnut St., for 5:30 on May 3rd. All who will be attending the Fanny Hensel meetup are welcome to come for dinner, and will be able to order as much (or as little) as they choose from the ala carte menu. One advantage of Pietro’s is that they will be able to seat us at two long adjacent tables.

    April 2, 2014

35 went

  • Randy +1
    Piano, voice, guitar, violin
    Event Host
  • David
    Piano, Organizer
  • Doris D.
    Piano, organ, harpsichord
  • Eleanor K.
    Cello
  • Barbara M.
    Piano, Assistant Organizer
  • Pam
    Organ, piano, harpsichord, Celtic harp, guitar, recorder

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