Henriette Brey (1875-1953), German Writer

Although Henriette Brey was born a generation earlier than Moehn, she became active as a poet and writer during his youth. Between 1912 and 1952, she published over fifty major works and collections, including poetry chapbooks, collections of religious essays, short stories, novels, and works for children. Many of her works were related to her strong Catholic faith – indeed, she was granted the Cross of Honor “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” by the Catholic Church when she reached sixty years of age.

There is no evidence that Moehn and Brey were personally acquainted, though it remains a possibility. Moehn may have encountered Brey’s works though local circulation, as many of her collections were published in Limburg an der Lahn, Wiesbaden, Bonn, and Köln - places in which he lived and worked or environs. In 1928, Moehn composed his miniature song cycle Drei Lieder nach Gedichten von Henriette Brey (Three Songs on Poems by Henriette Brey), comprised of the three songs “Wann Kömmst Du Heim?” “Trüber Tag,” and “Erlöser Abend,” the latter two of which appear in her collection Zwischen zwei Welten: Ein Leben in Liedern, first published by Hermann Rauch in Wiesbaden in 1914, with a second edition in 1925.

No other composers have published settings of her poems.

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Brey, Henriette. Zwischen zwei Welten: Ein Leben in Liedern. Wiesbaden: Hermann Rauch, 1925.

Moehn, Heinz. Drei Lieder nach Gedichten von Henriette Brey. Unpublished musical score. 1928.

Seidel, Gisela. “Brey, Maria Henriette.” In Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, vol. 27. Edited by Friedrich Wilhelm Bautz and Traugott Bautz. Bautz Verlag: Nordhausen, 2007. 188-198.

Seidel, Gisela. Henriette Brey - die Dichterin der Seele. Leipzig: Engelsdorfer Verlag, 2007.