Für Elise (2:51)

Cover of Moonlight

From Moonlight and 199 other releases

“Für Elise” (German for “For Elise”) is the popular name of the bagatelle in A minor WoO 59, marked poco moto, a piece of music for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), dated 27 April 1810.

Beethoven scholars are not entirely certain who “Elise” was. The most reasonable theory is that Beethoven originally titled his work “Für Therese”, Therese being Therese Malfatti von Rohrenbach zu Dezza (1792-1851), whom Beethoven intended to marry in 1810 and was also one of his students. However, she declined Beethoven’s proposal. In 1816 Therese, who was the daughter of the Viennese merchant Jacob Malfatti von Rohrenbach (1769-1829), married the Austrian nobleman and state official Wilhelm von Droßdik (1771-1859) When the work was published in 1865, the discoverer of the piece, Ludwig Nohl, mistranscribed the illegible title as “Für Elise”. The autograph is lost.[2] Another theory is that ‘Elise’ was used to describe a sweetheart during Beethoven’s time. If this is true, then the piece is dedicated to sweethearts in general, with no specific person in mind. However this theory is unlikely because it doesn’t fit well with Beethoven’s composing and dedication history.

“The music” :

The piece begins in 3/8 with a right-hand theme accompanied by arpeggios in the left hand; the harmonies used are A minor and E major. Homophony is used here. The next section maintains the same texture, but broadens the chord progression to include C major and G major.


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