Consolation, a "song without words," is one of many pieces contained in eight volumes by Felix Mendelssohn that are called Songs Without Words, the first of which was published in London in 1832. Originally, the first volume bore the rather prosaic title Original Melodies for the Pianoforte; the concept of "songs without words" came along later, a notion that seems to be Mendelssohn's own invention.
Each volume contains six "songs," or lieder, all published separately (two after Mendelssohn's death). These pieces were readily embraced and became very popular during the composer's lifetime, as piano playing was a very common pastime in ordinary households—and these Songs can be played by pianists of varying ability. Unfortunately, as often happens with popular music, critics tend to consider it of less value…but once you explore these short, lyrically expressive pieces, the depth and nuance of pieces like Consolation will become apparent to you as a player.
Despite Mendelssohn having nicknamed these pieces "songs," however, he gave very few of them actual titles (he didn't even actually name this piece Consolation)—and he steadfastly refused to put lyrics to them. In fact, when a friend tried to do just that, Mendelssohn scolded him (and perhaps any of us who would be so tempted!) with these words: "What the music I love expresses to me, is not thought too indefinite to put into words, but on the contrary, too definite." (Emphasis by the composer.)
Whatever sensation you feel while playing Consolation, remember that these pieces are rich in Romantic lyrical tradition; play the melodic line beautifully and smoothly, as if the keyboard is truly a "voice" singing a song as you play.
Print and Download Complete Consolation Piano Sheet Music