A very familiar piano piece known as “Für Elise” and sometimes described as Bagatelle in A minor WoO 59 although it is actually in rondo form. Interestingly it is a piece that was not published until 40 years after the composer’s death. As a popular piece with some sections invitingly straightforward and others more challenging to play it is a movement that is frequently played badly. Counting and communicating the beats to the bar particularly in the tricky octave sections is essential if the timing is to be accurate. The realisation is lacking in tonal contrast. The movement needs to be played with a lightness in the hands which means that it shouldn’t be played too loudly. The performer needs to aim to communicate the simplicity of the music which actually is quite a rare quality in Beethoven’s music. The realisation is a little bit stiff and lacks fluidity especially in the statement and of the opening motif/shape and its many repetitions. The player has the opportunity to linger a little more than is demonstrated in the playback whilst always suggesting a one beat to the bar feel in the music. The music editor suggests the use the sustaining pedal and its use is indicated in the first section of the sheet music score. The bass line from bar 81 is an opportunity for pianists to use different fingers on the repeating notes and the music editor suggests the players write in their own fingering choices. For those wanting clarity on how to play the turn in bar 51 the music editor suggests looking at the video score on our YouTube channel. Click the link on the home page of the website. The music editor has not made use of repeat signs which is an option that could have been used in the first part of the movement
Beethoven expanded the musical forms of the classical period. He also is an important link between the classical and the subsequent romantic age. As a composer he was especially interested in process and the exploration of musical ideas. Für Elise is also a romantic work in the sense that it invites a strong emotional response from both players and listeners.