Schilflied (Reed Song)

Mendelssohn and his wife Cécile spent the winter of 1844-5 in the Frankfurt area, where Cécile had been born. While there Mendelssohn made a beautiful copy of a song he had composed in 1842: Schilflied (Reed Song), which sets to music words by Nikolaus Lenau. Not only did he write it out in his best hand, he also illustrated it with a meticulous watercolour which depicts the song’s opening line: ‘On the lake’s unruffled surface rests the moon’s fair beam.’ It was a present for his friend Henrietta Keyl, the wife of a Frankfurt wine merchant.

 

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Autograph

Two leaves (bifolium), 212 x 285 mm