I was planning on spending the entire day knitting, but when I checked my blog comments this morning, Melanie, one of my most consistent and interesting commenters, pointed out that today is Beethoven’s birthday, which means I have to post a Beethoven piece. (Okay, technically today was the day Beethoven was baptized, so he may have been born a couple days ago, but that’s beside the point.) Yes, I saw the adorable little Google animation on the Google homepage—if you haven’t seen it, go take a look soon because it will vanish after today.
But on to today’s piece. It’s Bagatelle No. 25, more commonly known as “Für Elise.” This was the piece that started it all, everyone. My love for classical music stems from this. Here’s a bit about it.
- The original manuscript from 1810 was lost, so the version we hear today is from a transcribed version from 1867.
- No one knows who Elise was. Some people have suggested that the work may have been called “Für Therese,” a friend of Beethoven’s, and that the title was transcribed incorrectly. Others say that Elise was a soprano singer (her real name was Elizabeth, but she often went by Elise) Beethoven knew. No one is really sure, though.
- Though the piece was written for solo piano, other people have written orchestral versions for it. The recording I first heard when I was younger is for piano and orchestra. I’ve embedded the solo piano version below since this was the composer’s intent.
Or click here to see on YouTube.