lenau

A manuscript of Mendelssohn’s Schiflied (Reed Song), from his Op. 71. Mendelssohn and his wife Cécile spent the winter of 1844-5 in the Frankfurt area, where Cécile had been born. While there Mendelssohn made a copy of a song he had composed in 1842: Schilflied (Reed Song), which sets to music words by Nikolaus Lenau. Not only did he write it out in his best hand, he also illustrated it with a meticulous watercolour which depicts the song’s opening line: ‘On the lake’s unruffled surface rests the moon’s fair beam.’ It was a present for his friend Henrietta Keyl, the wife of a Frankfurt wine merchant.