Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MUSICA 2 ELISE: Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor for solo piano, "Für Elise," Ludwig van Beethoven, 1810

Wikipedia: Für Elise

Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (WoO 59 and Bia 515) for solo piano, commonly known as "Für Elise" (German: [fyːʁ eːˈliːzə] ( listen), English: "For Elise"), is one of Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular compositions.[1][2][3] It is usually classified as a bagatelle, but it is also sometimes referred to as an Albumblatt.


The piece is in A minor and is set in 3/8 time.  
It begins with an A minor theme marked Poco moto (little movement), with the left hand playing arpeggios alternating between A minor and E major. 
It then moves into a brief section based around C major and G major, before returning to the original theme. 
It then enters a lighter section in the subdominant key of the relative major of A minor (C major), F major. 
It consists of a similar texture to the A section, where the right hand plays a melody over left hand arpeggios. 
It then enters a 32nd note C major figure before returning to the A section. 
The piece then moves to an agitated theme in D minor with an A pedal point, as the right hand plays diminished chords. 
This section then concludes with an ascending A minor arpeggio before beginning a chromatic descent over two octaves, and then returning to the A section. 
The piece ends in its starting key of A minor with an authentic cadence. 
Despite being called a bagatelle, the piece is in rondo form. 
The structure is A–B–A–C–A. 
The first theme is not technically difficult and is often taught alone as it provides a good basic exercise for piano pedalling technique. 
However, much greater technique is required for the B section as well as the rapid rising A minor figure in the C section. 
Kopitz presents the finding by the German organ scholar Johannes Quack that the letters that spell Elise can be decoded as the first three notes of the piece. Because an E♭ is called an Es in German and is pronounced as "S", that makes E–(L)–(I)–S–E: E–(L)–(I)–E♭–E, which by enharmonic equivalents sounds the same as the written notes E–(L)–(I)–D♯–E.[10][13]

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