Felix Mendelssohn, lost and found
George Robinson's latest piece for the Jewish Week discusses the question of the grandson of Haskalah founder Moses Mendelssohn possibly returning to Judaism (his father converted both Felix and sister Fanny when they were young). In Mendelssohn, Lost And Found, Robinson talks about a plethora of pieces that were not published in Mendelssohn's lifetime. It's a fascinating piece, and will hopefully inspire some thinking and research, but to me, the most significant "lost" Mendelssohn is older sister Fanny, who not only played an active role in much of Felix's output (to the degree that some historians feel she should be credited as "co-author" of many pieces, and the possibly-not-coincidental fact that Felix died within months of Fanny), but whose own career as a musician and composer was prevented by both father and brother who felt it entirely inappropriate that a woman should be engaged in such pursuits. One could hope that at least some of the 200th anniversary concerts would acknowledge Fanny (and at least one concert in NYC does), but here in Boston, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra played the 200th anniversary "all-Mendelssohn" concert, they meant Felix only. Sad. Check out your local library for some recordings of Fanny's music that have been recorded and you'll see what I mean. By me, Fanny is the real "lost" story—and for most people, she still hasn't been "found."