Melodia Women s Choir Salutes Fanny Mendelssohn’s 200th Birthday

Melodia Women’s Choir at NOV 19 CONCERT IN NYC
Melodia Women’s Choir of New York City presents a mystical November concert of darkly transcendent music drawn from the classical and contemporary lexicon. Featured in the program is a special 200th anniversary tribute to Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, sister of Felix Mendelssohn and an extraordinarily talented, if often overlooked, composer.

Conducted by Cynthia Powell, the accomplished 32-member Melodia women’s ensemble will present “Twilight in the Garden of Dreams” on Saturday, November 19, 2005 at
8:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church, Chelsea, 346 West 20th Street in New York City.

Melodia has invited The Momenta String Quartet to perform
Mendelssohn-Hensel s “String Quartet in Eb” as an instrumental interlude at the concert.

Tickets to “Twilight” are $15 advance and $20 at the door.
Tickets may be ordered on the website,
(The Jewish Music WebCenter is particularly partial to the music of Fanny Mendelssohn.–JP)

Melodia will perform two partsongs by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, described by Powell as “spirited, passionate and full of life.”
Fanny Mendelssohn was born in November, 1805, in Hamburg, Germany, the granddaughter of the prominent Jewish scholar Moses Mendelssohn. From an early age, she displayed musical brilliance matching that of her brother Felix, who rose to prominence. Constricted by social mores and limitations of women, performances of Fanny’s compositions were heard only in Mendelssohn salons and went largely unacknowledged. Yet, family archives reveal that by her death at age 41, Fanny had composed 250 songs, 125 piano works, four cantatas, and much instrumental chamber music.

Other selections in the program include Meredith Monk‘s “Quarry Weave” and Elena Kats-Chernin‘s “Memorial Rag.” “This is music you won t hear on the beaten path,” said Powell, who is also the Organist/Choirmaster of Temple Sinai in Tenafly, N.J.

The emergence of Melodia Women’s Choir, founded in 2003 by Jennifer Clarke, reflects a rekindling of interest in the exploration, creation, and performance of women’s choral music. Melodia frequently presents the work of women composers. More
information about the life of Fanny Mendelssohn and the concert is on the website,