Fanny Hensel at the Ballet

“Fanny for ballet!!” read the text message. I blinked and did a double-take at the accompanying photo. Indeed, selections of Fanny Hensel’s “Das Jahr” — The Year — a cycle of piano pieces composed in 1841, were the music for a new ballet, “Her Notes,” chorographed by Jessica Lang and being premiered by the American Ballet Theatre in New York City. How exciting to think of Hensel’s powerful piano music being used as the basis of an expressive dance work.  In a video about the making of “Her Notes,” Lang explains “when I hear music, I see movement, and when…

25 Years Ago -- Pioneering Work by The Women's Philharmonic!

Works by Fanny Hensel and Libby Larsen Presented in 1990 Bringing a major historic work to light and presenting a recently-composed work — along with a well-known historical reference point in music — was all in a day’s work for The Women’s Philharmonic in 1990.   This program note ((c) Robyn Bramhall and The Women’s Philharmonic) is still a great read about the works by Fanny Hensel and Libby Larsen on the program.  The description of the obstacles that Hensel faced, and that she began of overcome only near the end of her too-short life, remains vivid and compelling. Some new details…