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.

Enjoy!

Or click here to see on YouTube.

4 thoughts on “(Belated) Wednesday Music: Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’

  1. Aw! Such a wonderful choice. I believe this was the number one piece that inspired me to learn to play piano. It was all I ever wanted to play and it’s one of the few songs I can still remember how to play to this day (having not taken lessons for nearly… -.- 11 years?) A gorgeous piece, truly.

    Though, all of Beethoven’s pieces are works of excellence, works of magnificence, works of art. He, truly, is my idol. People can say what they want about other composers: Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Handel, but Beethoven is the best. His work is so powerful, so dynamic! Ugh! I could gush about his work FOREVER!

    P.s. My favorite piano piece by Beethoven is most definitely ‘Moonlight Sonata’, but what can I say? I /love/ those dark undertones and minor chords. It’s like my theme song or something. :p

    1. Melanie, if you’re interested and haven’t seen this post, I featured the Moonlight Sonata one week: https://fluenthistorian.com/2015/08/26/wednesday-music-beethovens-piano-sonata-no-14-moonlight/

      Even if you already saw that post, I figure it’ll be a good excuse to listen to it again.

      As far as Beethoven and other composers go: I love Beethoven, but Mozart may be tied with him. I am OBSESSED with the Mozart violin concertos and a lot of his piano concertos as well. But don’t worry, that doesn’t diminish my love for Beethoven!😀

      1. Haha! I did already see your post. :p I even commented on it. So many good songs, I just forget.

        And when it comes to violin concertos I’m going to have to pick Vivaldi. If only I could play Winter. *is in love*

  2. It has a touching simplicity that moves the listener greatly. The piano was Beethoven’s instrument.and he wrote thirty two piano sonatas. This small jewel stands out : a minor masterpiece.

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