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Home Arts & Culture Grimpo Performs Hensel for Reformation Celebration

by Emily Kollbaum


Dr. Grimpo gave a piano recital on Sunday, Oct. 30, as a part of this year’s 500th Reformation celebration. Grimpo performed the piece “Das Jahr (The Year)” by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1799-1847). The piece is a Romantic piano cycle, meaning it is one piece made up of 13 movements, one each for a month of the year and a Lutheran chorale to end it, meant to be played continuously and without interruption.

“By the end of the cycle, the listener can hear that (Hensel’s) life had its ups and downs; her faith was never shaken,” Grimpo said during the recital.

Hensel’s faith life was prominent in her composing. She was a Lutheran her whole life, so she was used Lutheran hymns within her composition. This piece includes Martin Luther’s “From Heaven Above” in the month of December and an Easter hymn within the month of March.

“I hope I took the listeners on a  personal journey as the different moods of each month were expressed in the music,” Dr. Grimpo said.

The work was written to express different emotions and feelings that connect with each month of the year. Each piece is a different interpretation of how Hensel experienced and felt about the months of the year. Hensel even wrote two different versions of the June month with differing moods.

“(My favorite moment was) the privilege of sharing this beautiful work with others,” Grimpo said. “Words can’t describe it.”

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