Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix


Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix

Heimkehr aus der Fremde Op. 89 (Vocal score with German libretto)

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Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix – Heimkehr aus der Fremde Op. 89 (Vocal score with German libretto)

One-act Liederspiel to a German libretto by Karl Klingemann (English translation by Henry F. Chorley)

In August of 1829 while journeying in the British Isles, inclement weather forced Mendelssohn to forego his trip to Ireland and instead sojourned in Wales with a friend of the family. It was here the twenty-year-old Mendelssohn penned his only Liederspiel Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde, one of only two operatic works completed by Mendelssohn in his lifetime. Mendelssohn wrote the Liederspiel, a name Mendelssohn himself created, to celebrate his parents’ silver wedding anniversary. The Secretary of Legation in London Karl Klingemann, who was both a poet and family friend, wrote the German libretto. In fact, the entire piece was a family affair. The premier took place in the Mendelssohn’s private Berlin residence to an audience of 120 on December 26th 1829, conducted by Mendelssohn himself. Mendelssohn’s sisters Fanny and Rebecka played the roles of the women, and other family members and friends played each of the male roles for the premier. Only one of the singers was a professional singer, tenor Eduard Mantius, and Mendelssohn’s brother-in-law Wilhelm Hensel who was not a singer at all, and for whom Mendelssohn only scored one note, played the role of Schulz. This unusual scoring and unusual cast of characters created a comical situation. A review in the New York Times of the US premier of Heimkehr for Homer Lind’s Liederspiel Company in November 1903 recounts the original premier: “It was played in Berlin by his sister Rebecka, his brother-in-law Hensel, his friends the Devrients, and Mantius, a tenor of the Berlin Opera. Mendelssohn himself conducted, and the occasion was one of great hilarity. It is also the source of an anecdote classical in musical annals. Hensel “hated music,” had no voice, and knew nothing about singing; for his benefit Mendelssohn confined the part of the Mayor, which was intrusted[!] to Hensel, to a few bars of music all on the one note F. At the performance, however, Hensel missed it though it was hummed at him from all sides, and thereby doubled up Mendelssohn with laughter.”1 …

Continue reading preface of the full score  > HERE

Score No.



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