An awareness of Beethoven is evident in the stormy first movement of the C-minor sonata.The works are characterized by a pervasive lyricism.The first movement of the B-flat sonata features a long singing melody.
.Felix Mendelssohn (1809-47) (See HWM biography,page 618, and Figure 25.10)BiographyHe was the grandson of Moses Mendelssohn, the leading Jewish philosopher of the German Enlightenment.His father converted the children to Christianity.Mendelssohn was a remarkable child prodigy, whose youthful productivity rivals that of Mozart.He founded the Leipzig Conservatory in 1843.Mendelssohn died at the age of thirty-eight after a series of strokes.He blended characteristics of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven with those of his contemporaries.Contrapuntal activity and formal clarityRomantic expressionBeautiful melodiesInteresting and often unpredictable melodiesFluent technique was emphasized over bravura display.His larger piano works include three sonatas, variations, and fantasias.The Seven Character Pieces (1827) introduced the term and helped define the genre.Lieder ohne WÃ¶rte (Songs without Words)Mendelssohn published forty-eight works in eight books.Mendelssohn believed that music could express feelings that words cannot (see HWM Source Reading, page 619).Lieder ohne WÃ¶rte, Op. 19, No. 1 (see HWM Example 24.5)Like a Lied, the music can be divided into three parts: the left-hand bass, the right-hand arpeggiations, and a singer's melody.It is a challenge to play all three parts smoothly.The work projects an engaging melody and an interesting accompaniment..Clara Schumann and Fanny Hensel (1805-47)Both were highly skilled pianist-composers, but they had contrasting careers.Clara Schumann was an acclaimed pianist at a young age.By playing only what was written, she focused attention on the composer rather than the performer.She also performed her own music, as well as that of her husband.Her works include polonaises, waltzes, variations, preludes and fugues, character pieces, and a sonata in G minor.Fanny Mendelssohn performed primarily in private settings.She was almost as talented as her brother Felix and married a painter, Wilhelm Hensel.She performed at her salons, gatherings of friends and guests.She composed more than four hundred works, including at least 250 songs and 125 piano works.Most of her works were unpublished because of the objections of her father and brother.
Her masterpiece is Das Jahr (The Year, 1841), a series of character pieces on the twelve months of the year.She died of a stroke less than a year after the publication of her Opus 1, a set of six songs.Her importance and the quality of her works have only recently been discovered..Robert Schumann.Prior to 1840, all of Schumann's published music was for piano.Most of his works were short character pieces.The character pieces are often grouped in sets with colorful names.