Tune of the Day: Für Elise
Among Beethoven's most popular compositions, the Bagatelle in A minor for solo piano, marked poco moto (“little motion”) was composed around 1810, when the composer was 40 years old and already firmly established as one of the greatest composers of all time. The piece is named “Für Elise” (which is German for “For Elise”) because a Beethoven researcher claimed to have seen this dedication on an old manuscript which has been missing since. The name “Elise” has been the cause of some speculation. It's a well known fact that Beethoven didn't have any luck when it came to marriage. At the time the piece was written he was in love with Therese Malfatti, who was one of several women to turn down his marriage proposal. Some scholars have speculated that the title was misread from “Therese” to “Elise” because of Beethoven's terrible handwriting, and that the piece was actually dedicated to Therese, who was studying under the maestro at the time. This is however quite a far stretch, and thus not a definitive answer to the riddle.
A few words about the transcription. While the beginning of the piece is easy to play, the middle section may actually prove very challenging, due to rapid interval jumps. Near the end the piece also features a gorgeous run of triplets that reaches the fourth octave of the flute. A wonderful exercise in flexibility.