Twelve character pieces (1841) for fortepiano
(Liana Gavrila Serbescu/ Barbara Heller/ Ayako Suga-Maack).
Second revised edition after the illustrated fair copy 1999 first publication.
Facsimile see books
The piano cycle Das Jahr (The Year) – as a subject not exactly remote – nevertheless in the year of its composition 1841 music-historically without model, was published for the first time in 1989 and is probably the most received work of F. Hensel. During the preparations for the 2nd edition presented here, another source, an illustrated fair copy, was surprisingly found. This revised version provided a new basis for the revision. Both the compositional structure, in which, among other things, the contours of the cyclical (year) progression are particularly worked out, and the piano writing are examples of the composer’s mature personal style. With its alternation of virtuosic, lyrical, song-like or sustained characters, the overall pianistically demanding piano work combines quite different degrees of difficulty. Performance of individual pieces from the cycle is quite possible.
“Now, at last, one of her major works “for the pianoforte” has appeared in print in a commendable edition as a first publication by Furore – certainly one of the most important new releases of Romantic music in recent times. The work …. also casts a different light on certain stylistic features that one might think of as ‘typically Mendelssohn’ on first hearing. It is remarkable how similar the two siblings composed: many of Fanny’s character pieces could also be in her brother’s oeuvre, such as the fairy-like ‘December’ with its diminished chords flitting by in pianissimo (Allegro molto) on the keynote of the ever-prevailing C minor. A winter fairy tale as a replica of the Brother’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. And might not the silvery glitter of September (‘Am Fluss’) have been the inspiration for the expressive theme of the cellos in the Elijah aria ‘Es ist genug’? Who knows.”
Piano News. No. 1