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forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise (Read 6155 times)

Offline joyfulmusic

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forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
« on: September 08, 2005, 12:20:58 AM »
Anybody know why some music gives d-c-b-a at the end of that opening phrase and others put e-d-b-a? 

piano sheet music of Für Elise


Offline gaer

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #1 on: September 08, 2005, 12:42:57 AM »
Could you be talking about an alternate ending?

The traditional one ends: E up a 6th to C step down to B step down to A

Alternate: D up a 7th to C step down to B step down to A

And often the alternate shows a 6th in the last bar, C-A.  The traditional ending is a single note, only A

I have only seen this variant at the very end, not elsewhere, but Für Elise is one of the most frequently butchered pieces of music ever written. Unlike many other people who teach, even though my students love it and I have to teach it a lot to make them happy, I have respect for this composition. And I think the variant ending can be quite effective. I give my students the choice of which to use, warning them that conservative people may criticize them for daring to "change a coupld notes. :)

Question: Are you asking where the alternate ending came from? Or why it is written that way in some versions/editions?

Gary

Offline joyfulmusic

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #2 on: September 09, 2005, 12:51:40 PM »
Thanks for answering.  Up until recently the ending you describe is all that I have seen vary.  However, a recent copy has the phrase in question beginning with a d note throughout the piece.  Then my student's mom said she heard it played on the radio that way.  Sounds funny to me, since I have played it with the "E" throughout the piece and only use the d at the very end phrase.  I'm curious why this is so.  Having seen old music written with those square type notes, I'm not surprised interpretations vary, but this has never come before in all my life - which is over 50. 

Offline gaer

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #3 on: September 09, 2005, 09:13:37 PM »
Thanks for answering.  Up until recently the ending you describe is all that I have seen vary.  However, a recent copy has the phrase in question beginning with a d note throughout the piece. 
I would ignore that "copy" and try to find something more reliable. :)
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Then my student's mom said she heard it played on the radio that way. 
Do you trust her "ear" enough to believe that she actually heard what she thinks she heard?
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Sounds funny to me, since I have played it with the "E" throughout the piece and only use the d at the very end phrase.  I'm curious why this is so.  Having seen old music written with those square type notes, I'm not surprised interpretations vary, but this has never come before in all my life - which is over 50. 
I'm almost sure the "E" is right, even at the end. As I said, if you use "D", it is avariant. Most sources claim that Beethoven did not write that ending. :)

Gary

Offline allthumbs

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #4 on: September 18, 2005, 09:00:44 PM »
Greetings

I like that piece also and still play it (and have since I was twelve). I have heard recordings where the E is played throughout, the D throughout and both notes used in various renditions at the end.

As I don't have any of the Urtexts of this piece, I can't comment as to what it has.

Anyone?

Cheers

allthumbs

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Offline Souza

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #5 on: September 18, 2005, 10:09:37 PM »
Greetings

I like that piece also and still play it (and have since I was twelve). I have heard recordings where the E is played throughout, the D throughout and both notes used in various renditions at the end.

As I don't have any of the Urtexts of this piece, I can't comment as to what it has.

Anyone?

Cheers

allthumbs





I have only one  Urtext Edition.  The D (Re) is throughout the whole piece,  and nothing else is mentioned in few critical notes or preface.

Some quotes of Preface and critical notes:


**************
Urtext Edition UT 50053 - Shott/Universal Edition - Red cover - "Fur Elise" WoO 59 -  Edited from the autograph and the first edition and with fingering added by Alfred Brendel, taken from the volume Beethoven, Piano Pieces, Wiener Urtext Edition No 50003.

Source: First printing : Nohl's "Neeue Beethovenbriefe", 1867.  The MS that served Nohl as a source is lost.  Max Unger suspects that the recipient of the piece was Therese Malfatti, whom Beethoven admired;  in this case, Nohl must have read "Elise" for "Therese", which does not really surprise anyone who has seen Beethoven's handwriting.  In First printing the pedal markings in b. 12/13, 39, 47/48, 53/54 and 57/58 are wanting; they have been added on the basis of parallel passages. 

Composed in 27 April 1810 when Beethoven was considering proposing marriage to Therese Malfatti.

The melancholy - even depressive - charm of this Albumleaf shows Beethoven from an unusual angle.  According to Nottebohm, the piece appeared in the manuscript, which is now lost, as No.12 of a set of bagatelles; Beethoven used some of the rest in the Bagatelles Opp. 119 and 126.

***************

Anyone has another urtext edition?

{}s Pedro

Offline gaer

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #6 on: September 19, 2005, 02:10:08 AM »
I have only one  Urtext Edition.  The D (Re) is throughout the whole piece,  and nothing else is mentioned in few critical notes or preface.
This is certainly a mystery. I found an edition by Palmer, Alfred company, and I believe he claimed to have worked from the "most reliable sources". Now, are they more reliable than what was used for your edition?

I don't know. Certainly I would keep my mind open at this point.  I'll play it through with D in place of E at the end of each one of the sections I believe we are talking about. (I've already done it mentally.)

This would not be the first time a very famous and popluar piece of music had a complicated history full of many surprises. I've heard that the title used "Theresa" rather than "Elise" by mistake before.

Thank you for providing that information. :)

I do find the term "Urtext" extremely misleading, since it assumes there is one reliable source and that the edition we have in our hands, marked "Urtext", is 100% reliable, having no deletions, additions or mistakes.
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Anyone has another urtext edition?
As I said, Palmer claims to work from "reliable sources", and he adds nothing except a couple suggestions that are in light print, indicating not by Beethoven. If you would like, I'll do the same thing. I'll attempt to share here what it says, here in this thread.

Gary

Offline llamaman

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #7 on: September 23, 2005, 08:29:18 PM »
D is a variation, it is optional, like the turn in the B section.
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Offline gaer

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #8 on: September 23, 2005, 10:24:40 PM »
D is a variation, it is optional, like the turn in the B section.
This matches what all my sources say.

Offline newbis

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 02:41:59 AM »
I was looking into this topic and found this thread.
I found a copy of the manuscript here:
http://www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=15302&template=ganzseite_digitales_archiv_en&_eid=1509&_ug=until%201810&_dokid=wm75&_mid=Sketches%20by%20%20Beethoven&_seite=1-1

It really looks like DCBA. I also tried using a "sharpen" tool in image editing software just to check, but it only confirms that more.  If someone has a Gold membership here, I think the facsimile is also available, and may be a little easier to read.

Any look at the image shows how bad Beethoven's handwriting is, so it's not surprising if publishers thought he must have meant ECBA, which conforms more to usual voice leading.  Unless someone has evidence of a letter from Beethoven confirming that it really was supposed to be ECBA, then I would say it's between what the manuscript says and speculation about what Beethoven might have said verbally to the publisher.

I'd be interested in if anyone has any evidence in favor of ECBA.

Offline thinkgreenlovepiano

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #10 on: March 31, 2011, 03:08:35 AM »
Oh when I was learning this piece, it baffled me so much because it was when I first realized there were discrepancies in notes between different editions of the same piece. I never knew that could happen before!

According to http://www.sheetmusic2print.com/Beethoven/Fur-Elise.aspx
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Please note that scholars do not agree as to whether there should be a D or an E in measure 7 (second note, right hand) and in subsequent similar passages. However, most modern editions show a D, as we do here.

That seems to be the case. My RCM Celebration Series book used Ds. My teacher has 2 copies of the piece, the one she had from years ago when she was young showed an E (except in the final occurence in the piece), but her other newer book, published by Henle, had a D.
I played it both ways... *shrugs*. But on my exam, I played it D so that it would match the score... and I think I prefer D anyway. (:

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Offline cygnusdei

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 11:19:40 AM »
Wow - at first I thought what the hell, what was the OP talking about, there is a 'd' version? Then I remember, hey I think I *did* play the 'd' version! Suddenly the 'e' version doesn't look so right. FYI Alfred Brendel played the 'd' version in his CD of the Bagatelles.

Come to think of it a passage just beyond the repeat has

g-f-e-d, f-e-d-c, e-d-c-b

with rising 7th intervals, consistent with the 'd' version.

Offline asiantraveller101

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 04:40:31 PM »
"D"!
The interval of a seventh is used in the sequences in the middle of the section: G-F-E-D, F-E-D-C, and E-D-C-B. Therefore, D-C-B-A is in correspondence to the same motive in used.  8)

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 07:13:36 PM »
The autograph scetch and the Henle Urtext both have D.

Offline slane

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 04:22:55 AM »
Sorry to resuscitate a dead thread ...
I found this blog on the Henle site (the publishers of the Urtext people are referring to here) about the D/E issue.
http://www.henle.de/blog/en/2011/11/30/beethoven-fur-elise-woo-59-%E2%80%93-do-you-strike-the-right-note/

basically they've made an educated guess and gone with the D, because that comes from Beethoven's draft and therefore is more authentic than the first printing, which has he E.

Offline love_that_tune

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #15 on: March 20, 2012, 12:48:18 AM »
I love this forum.  I always pass these ideas along to my students and it brings the music alive to know that the whole darn thing is a process.  Anyone else see that this was written for "Therese"?

Offline pianoman26

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Re: forgive me but the topic is Fur Elise
«Reply #16 on: April 20, 2013, 10:05:34 PM »
I just happened to hear Für Elise on KUSC the other day, played with a "D" throughout. I've always known it as played with an "E" throughout, except for the very last bar. I googled around and found the article slane linked to. How amazing that the most well known piece of (piano) music can have 2 different versions! Most recordings out there use the "E" version, wouldn't you agree?