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Beethoven's "Fur Elise" (Bagatelle in A minor, WoO 59), one of the most well-known works in all of classical music, is a piece shrouded in mystery. As many scholars have pondered since the work's publication in 1865, you, too, may be wondering, "who was Elise?"
Given that Fur Elise was not published within Beethoven's lifetime (1770-1827), he left us few traces of his intentions for the piece or of Elise's identity. Some scholars believe that Fur Elise was originally intended for Therese Malfatti, a woman to whom Beethoven unsuccessfully proposed marriage in 1810. Ludwig Nohl, who discovered the manuscript in the 1860s, is thought to have misread the dedication written in Beethoven's own hand, and mistook "Therese" to read "Elise." Still, other scholars speculate that Elise was actually Elisabeth Röckele, a well-known soprano with whom Beethoven held a close friendship, and who eventually married Beethoven's contemporary, Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837). Yet others suspect that Elise was no specific woman at all, but rather a term of endeerment used during Beethoven's time, much as we might use the term "sweetheart" today.
Fur Elise, usually lasting less than 5 minutes, is in rondo form that follows an A-B-A-C-A pattern; the highly-recognizable A section often being taught alone as a pedaling exercise to beginning piano students. While technical mastery of the piece can be achieved by many, it is in the hands of the true artist that the expressiveness of the work, with its many crescendos and decrescendos, ritardandos and accelerandos, shines through. With the work's intimate, legato, and dance-like qualities, coupled with its simple, elegant melody, perhaps there is no better piece than Fur Elise to invite even the most casual listener into the world of classical music.
Whoever Elise may have been, there is no doubt that Beethoven penned this work with deep sentiments in his heart, and with a love tempered by darkness and unanswered longing. Perhaps Beethoven never even intended for Fur Elise to make its way into his published repertoire; and we will never know how Beethoven would truly feel about Fur Elise being played in fast-food restaurant commercials or in dance clubs with strobe lights and techno-beat accompaniment. Regardless of his intentions, Beethoven, through this enduring, mysterious work, once again weaves his way into the depths of our hearts, souls, and collective being.
With the inclusion of suggested fingerings, this digital edition of Fur Elise is perfect for beginner-to-intermediate pianists. Besides the ability to print the sheet music from the pdf file, this edition of Fur Elise also includes Scorch files (for transposition to another instrument), helpful videos, MIDI, and MP3 audio files.
Wow, how easy!
by J Mcon August 18th, 2014
Again, Wow. don't buy much online.. Don't buy much sheet music. This was cool!
Great way to buy sheet music.
by Judion September 21st, 2012
This was the most wonderful way to buy Fur Elise sheet music. No spending hours walking to shops etc. I would recommend it to anyone.
Getting Back into the Saddle
by catherine moonon April 15th, 2011
Having not really played the piano for 30 years I splashed out & bought myself a baby grand. Having bought two sets of sheet music from yourselves I was delighted to see that these were not Grade 8!! Easy to sight read after all these years. I look forward to purchasing a lot more sheet music from your company.
by anonymouson November 15th, 2009
i was very pleased with the purches and the sheet music was great.. ive only just got back into playing again its been nearly 10 years but its been good and the style was good enougyh for me to read and learn the music
by anonymouson November 1st, 2008
MY SON REALLY LOVES TO PLAY THIS SONG.
by anonymouson September 24th, 2008
So fun and entertaining
by liulinon August 30th, 2008
I love fur Elise music
by Marybethon March 3rd, 2008
Somehow, I had lost a couple of pages of Fur Elise which I had since I was a young girl.
Imagine how surprised I was when I found your site and the ease with which I completed the transaction. The sheets printed out beautifully and needless to say, I am very happy with it.
I am just learning piano, and to be able to play classical music is so exciting for me! Much more fun than "Mary Had a Little Lamb!"
I LOVED IT!!
by anonymouson November 23rd, 2007
hey thanks guys i loved this piece and im in 8th grade for piano this is by far the best piece i have ever heard on the internet.
Kudos to Virtual Sheet Music
by Suzanne Lunsfordon September 28th, 2007
Why didn't I think about ordering this music from Virtual months ago? I've wasted precious time and gas trying to find the music I wanted in music stores, to no avail. Now I'm a happy camper.
It really is a fun piece to play
by Derek Priesteron July 29th, 2007
This was the first piece that I learned how to play on the piano. For all you beginners out there this is the piece for you. My grandma gave me this piece and i loved it right away so i practiced and I played it perfectly in about 3 weeks. So for all you beginners if you are looking for a easy classical piece to play and impress your friends this is the piece for you. But at the end though, you really have to get your fingering right to play it really good and keep your same timing.
by Sinduja Sriskandaon July 22nd, 2007
the music was great. It impress my cousins and makes me gets me bettter at playing the piano to. Now I love playing the piano and play it for hours.
I was very pleased to find the entire version of this classic piece for my piano students. All of the books I have contain only the 2-page version and I was very excited to be able to purchase this online and print it off immediately. thanks!
Five Star Review
by anonymouson April 29th, 2007
This edition of Fur Elise is exactly what I was looking for. It is not available in local music stores, access here is so simple even I did it. Fingering is well done and other markings are also so good. My student just mastered the simplified edition and asked for a more difficult version. She has been able to work independently which is an ego booster and also is self-teaching.