Lied ohne Worte

Compositor: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (27/01/1756 – 05/12/1791).

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"Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without Words) is a series of eight books each consisting of six "songs", written for the solo piano by Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn. The song in the title is the second song of the first book

The 8 Volumes

Book 1, Op. 19 (1829-1830)
Book 2, Op. 30 (1833-1834)
Book 3, Op. 38 (1836-1837)
Book 4, Op. 53 (1839-1841)
Book 5, Op. 62 (1842-1844)
Book 6, Op. 67 (1843-1845)
Book 7, Op. 85 (1834-1845)
Book 8, Op. 102 (1842-1845)

The eight volumes of Songs without Words were written at various points throughout Mendelssohn's life, two of the volumes being published posthumously. The first volume was published by Novello in London as Original Melodies for the Pianoforte, but the later volumes used the title Songs without Words.

The works were part of the Romantic tradition of writing short lyrical pieces for the piano, although the specific concept of 'Song without Words' was new. Mendelssohn's sister Fanny wrote a number of similar pieces (though not so entitled) and she may have helped inspire the concept according to some music historians. The title "Song without words" seems to have been Felix Mendelssohn's own invention. In 1828, Fanny wrote in a letter "My birthday was celebrated very nicely ... Felix has given me a 'song without words' for my album". Mendelssohn himself resisted attempts to interpret the Songs too literally, and objected when his friend Souchay sought to put words to them to make them literal songs.

Book 1, Op. 19 (1829-1830)

No. 1 Andante con moto in E major
No. 2 Andante espressivo in A minor
No. 3 Molto allegro e vivace in A major ("Hunting Song")
No. 4 Moderato in A major
No. 5 Poco agitato in F-sharp minor
No. 6 Andante sostenuto in G minor ("Venezianisches Gondellied" [Venetian Boat Song] No. 1)"

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