Monday, April 27, 2009

Für Elise

It was 199 years ago today that Beethoven wrote his famous piano composition, "Für Elise."

No one is absolutely sure who Elise was, although scholars tend to believe she was his mistress.

One theory is that the piece originally was named "Für Therese," in honor of Therese Malfatti von Rohrenbach zu Dezza, one of Beethoven's students. It is said that Beethoven, who was 22 years older than Therese, wanted to marry her and proposed in 1810, but she rejected his proposal. Supposedly, when the piece was published in 1865 (nearly 40 years after Beethoven's death), the title was transcribed incorrectly.

It has also been suggested that Elise was a nickname for Therese.

Well, I guess it doesn't matter. For more than 140 years, it has been known as "Für Elise," and it will remain so.

And, no matter for whom it was written, it is a lovely and timeless composition.