Do you really know Fur Elise?
Among piano tutors, this is the piece that by far is more requested to play by their piano students. So let’s have a look to the full analysis WKMT has prepared for you as piano tutors on the link above.
According to musicologists, it has been one of the favourite pieces to play since Ludwig Van Beethoven, one of the greatest composers that ever lived, dedicated it in 1810 to Therese Malfatti (according to musicologist Rita Steblin). This Bagatelle is in the form of a rondo has been a musical gem among the pianistic repertoire.
What makes it so special?
Many possible answers can come to our minds, but we have to think first about what makes a great piece: a catchy tune and Fur Elise delivers it wonderfully.
As said before, this piece has the form of a rondo, which means that the central theme (the one that everyone knows) is repeated several times along the work and returns to it cyclically.
The secret of keeping the interest of the listener is the impeccable balance between unity and variety that Fur Elise offers: the other themes are variations of the main one, tonally more unstable, and they provide moments of harmonic and rhythm contrast, always keeping a particular connection and returning to the safety of the well-known central theme.
Suppose there is one lesson to be learned about this Bagatelle for all composers out there who also want to make pieces to be remembered. In that case, it is to create music with solid architectural structural, but simultaneously, to hide the mastery under a veil of simplicity. I firmly believe that this is the secret for all marvellous pieces: to balance their complexity and conceal their genius; this is indeed the case for Fur Elise.
Surprisingly enough, Beethoven himself didn’t pay much attention to his piece; it was a gift for one of her students that by that time was 13 years of age. What a gift!