Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven - Für Elise

This is one of the master's most famous works, and he had a lot of famous works.  It's a dead certainty that you've heard it, and if you took piano lessons as a child, there's quite a good chance that you've played this.  Beethoven composed it on this day in 1810.



The proper title of the piece is "Bagatelle No. 25 in A Minor"; "Für Elise" is the dedication: for Elise.  The interesting question is who was Elise?  One theory is that the title was mis transcribed; the piece was lost for 40 years, and the original once rediscovered was lot again so all we have is the transcription.  In this theory Elise was Therese Malfatti, whom Beethoven proposed to in 1810.  She turned him down.  Other women have been proposed as the mysterious Elise, most of whom were sopranos who Beethoven knew, but none had as close a relationship with the maestro as Fraulein Malfatti.  In the end, her identity is as lost as the original score.

8 comments:

libertyman said...

Beautiful, I was hoping you would have a post this morning.

Watching the score go by, I realize how musically illiterate I am. What a gift to be able to sight read or to just play so well.

Found it on a Michael Silverman CD, I will get it through your link.

Thanks for a great start to the week!

Old NFO said...

Yep, 'tried' to play it... it's NOT an easy piece... :-)

Borepatch said...

Glad you liked it, libertyman. And thanks for using my Amazon link.

OldNFO, sure is. This and Clair de Lune are two that I'd like to be able to play, but both are pretty challenging.

Mermaid said...

My favorite.

Expatriate Owl said...

When I was still single I brought a date up to my apartment. She saw my piano and asked me to play something. This piece is what I played for her. She asked me what the title of the piece was and I told her "Für Elise."

The date's name, of course, was Elise. And she said that she had never heard it.

Borepatch said...

Expat, that's a cool story. Well done on song selection. ;-)

Chickenmom said...

A favorite - thank you for posting!

Graybeard said...

Been trying to move this over to guitar, but been too lazy to go find the sheet music. I know it's around here somewhere. I played it when I was doing my couple of years of teaching myself piano. Well, at least the portion in my "Easy Classics" book.