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    Review: Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte, Books 5-8

    Felix Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words made famous a mini-genre in which his works had only few predecessors and no plethora of successors. As a small salon piece, it would seem an obviously attractive format, yet the title “Impromptu” remained more popular, and other than Fauré’s early Romances sans paroles, not many others have become half as well-known. Nor is the title a senseless addition: the pieces resemble songs in that they usually unfurl a single musical idea, instead of the contrasting ones that characterise sonata form, and are dominated equally by melody, texture and atmosphere: more poems, perhaps, than novellas. 

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    Topics: Felix Mendelssohn, Lieder ohne Worte, Impromptu