Fanny Mendelssohn's 'Divan'

Fanny Mendelssohn's 'Divan'
Date
3 February 2022, 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Type
Lecture
Venue
Bedford Room, G37, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Description

English Goethe Society Prawer Lecture

Speaker: Anhad Arora (Merton College, Oxford)

The lecture, illustrated with musical examples, will explore Fanny Mendelssohn’s settings of poems from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan (publ. 1819), virtually reuniting manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The first half of the lecture will centre around the six settings composed in 1825. Mendelssohn, Arora will argue, takes an idiosyncratic approach to musical narrative, dividing the six settings into two groups of three. Arora will then turn to 1836, to her setting of ‘Ach, um deine feuchten Schwingen’. It appears in an 1844 ‘Stammbuch’, compiled by Felix, with an illustration of Suleika by Wilhelm Hensel. The book also features an illustration for her published setting of ‘An des lust’gen Brunnens Rand’. What did Mendelssohn see and hear in the Divan? And what can her multi-media settings tell us about how the Orient and the Divan were clothed in song?

Attendance free; advance online booking required. 

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Contact

Jane Lewin
jane.lewin@sas.ac.uk
020 7862 8966