Hensel, Fanny Cecile


Eldest child of the Mendelssohn family; born Nov. 14, 1805, in Hamburg. She was a brilliant pianist, and a composer of talent Her instructor in piano was Berger. Her brother, Felix, frequently spoke of her as being a better player than himself, and, as is shown by his letters, placed great value upon her ability and judgment as musician and critic. She was married to W. Hensel, a painter of Berlin, in 1829. Her best compositions are songs and pianopieces, several of which were published under her brother's name. In her own name were published four books of melodies and songs for piano solo, and one book of partsongs. She wrote several choruses to Goethe's Faust; a number of songs and piano-pieces, and a trio for piano and strings in D, which were published after her death, in 1847, which was very sudden and undoubtedly largely due to overstrain of mental powers in early life. The attachment and intellectual understanding between her and her brother Felix was so great that it is thought her death hastened his, which occurred six months later. She is buried in the Mendelssohn portion of the Friedhof at the Hallettior, Berlin, and a line of her music is engraved on the tombstone.