Music for the Community

Welcome to our Music for the Community page! Since we can't take our music out to local nursing homes and libraries at the moment, we're inviting you in to enjoy it here instead. Each day you'll find a new student performance on this page, along with some info about the composer or instrument - and sometimes words too so you can sing along. 

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Wednesday, May 06 2020 00:00

Day 23: Beethoven’s “Für Elise"

Pianist age 11 plays Beethoven’s “Für Elise (For Elise)”

Who was the mysterious Elise for whom Beethoven wrote this short but very famous piece? There are quite a few possible candidates!

One is German soprano Elizabeth Rockel, who sang in Beethoven’s opera Fidelio. She met with Beethoven quite often, and it’s known that he wanted to marry her at one time. Another soprano called Elise Barensfeld has also been suggested, although less is known about her.

But in fact, what  Beethoven actually wrote on the manuscript was not "Für Elise" - but "Für Therese"! It’s widely acknowledged that the Therese in question was Therese Malfatti, to whom Beethoven proposed marriage in 1810, the same year he composed the piece. As further evidence, she was also the owner of the manuscript.

She must have been rather put out when - thanks to a sloppy copywriter who made the 19th century equivalent of a typo - her name on the published version of the work was changed to someone else’s!

Read 1788 times Last modified on Wednesday, May 06 2020 14:05