MERCURY STUDIOS ANNOUNCES NEW FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 'FANNY: THE OTHER MENDELSSOHN'

DIRECTED BY THE GREAT UNHERALDED COMPOSER’S DESCENDANT SHEILA HAYMAN

Out On DVD + Blu-Ray May 17, 2024

467 of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s works survive. Many have never been published or performed. 175 years after her death, nearly 90% of classical concerts worldwide contain no music by women.

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE


NEWS PROVIDED BY
Universal Music Canada

20 MARCH 2024 (TORONTO, ON) - Mercury Studios announces a new feature documentary, FANNY: THE OTHER MENDELSSOHN, directed by the unheralded composer’s great great great granddaughter, BAFTA-winning filmmaker Sheila Hayman. It will be available as a DVD+Blu-ray package on May 17, 2024.

Take a celebrated musical genius, a rival sibling, an unknown manuscript, and one sensational revelation and what have you got? Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn – a captivating feature documentary starring global Decca artist, Isata Kanneh-Mason. The film also follows Fanny’s many modern champions, including pianist Sarah Rothenberg, whose pioneering recording of Fanny’s ‘Das Jahr’ features in the story.

Anyone who has been to a wedding has enjoyed the musical genius of Felix Mendelssohn. His Wedding March is the most-played classical composition of all time. But Felix was not the only genius in the family: his sister, Fanny was also a brilliant composer. Yet most people have never heard of her, and even now only a few of her 450 works are published or performed. Fanny as composer was equal to any of her contemporaries, male or female: technically brilliant and boldly ground-breaking. Yet she was 40 before she dared to defy Felix's disapproval, and publish her music under her own name.

Tragically, the resulting joy and recognition were short-lived. Less than a year later, Fanny died, followed shortly by Felix – his already poor health exacerbated by grief.

Over a century later, in 1971, the celebrated pianist Eric Heidsieck was contacted by a record company and asked to perform the first recording of Mendelssohn's Easter Sonata. At that point, Fanny was unknown, so it was presumed to be a lost work by Felix. But as the film's extraordinary plot unfolds, the music is proven definitively to be Fanny’s piano masterpiece, written when she was only 22. Fanny’s music is brought to life by the gifted virtuoso pianist, Isata Kanneh-Mason, recipient of the 2021 Leonard Bernstein Award and 2021 best classical artist at the Global Awards. And as she discovers the Easter Sonata, the parallels between her life and Fanny's – including the challenge of being a pioneer with few role models in classical music - become clear.

As moving as it is joyous, this is the story of a very modern woman – who just happened to live 200 years ago.

About

ABOUT MERCURY STUDIOS

Mercury Studios is a full-service production studio.

Current and recent projects include Telluride Film Festival selections American Symphony, a feature documentary by award-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman that follows Jon Batiste and If These Walls Could Sing, the untold story of the world-famous Abbey Road Studios directed by celebrated British photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney for Disney+; My Life as a Rolling Stone, a four-part docuseries of intimate portraits of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts for the BBC and MGM+; Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl, a career documentary about the superstar currently available on Netflix; Mixtape, the critically acclaimed feature documentary from Omar Acosta focused on the DJs and artists who shaped the sound and culture of Hip-Hop through mixtapes for Paramount+; and the forthcoming This Town, a six-part series for the BBC from writer, creator, and executive producer Steven Knight. Mercury Studios also produced “Sam Smith Live at the Royal Albert Hall” (BBC/TikTok) and Billie Eilish’s livestream event, “Overheated,” at The 02 London and the upcoming “Lang Lang Plays Disney” for Disney+.

Editorially independent, Mercury Studios is powered by Universal Music Group and represents the world’s leading catalogue of music-related content, consisting of thousands of hours of premium music-driven film and television programming.

March 20, 2024 11:24am ET by Newsdesk  

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