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A group surrounds a harpsichord playing instruments

Many members of the royal family were talented musicians

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-47)

Lied ohne Worte für das Piano vierhändig (Song Without Words as a Piano Duet) 1847

RCIN 1047149

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Mendelssohn created a new genre of simple, lyrical piano solos he called ‘Songs without Words’. Eight volumes, six numbers in each, were published between 1830 and the 1850s. Upon learning that the royal couple enjoyed playing duet arrangements of his ‘Songs without Words’, Mendelssohn sent the Prince this four-handed arrangement in 1847. Sadly, he died six months later, and the piece became a poignant reminder for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert:

‘We read & played that beautiful ‘Lied ohne Worte’, which poor Mendelssohn arranged & wrote out himself for us this year. To feel, when one is playing his beautiful music, that he is no more, seems incomprehensible!’

Queen Victoria (Journal, 13 November 1847)