This is the real LOVE story about ”Für Elise” (Voor Elise, For Elise, Za Elizu....etc)
Did you know that the original title was Fur Therese?
Fur Elise” (Für Elise) is probably Beethoven`s most popular piano work, which he dedicated to one of his female piano pupils in 1810.
Beethoven had made the acquaintance of the Malfatti family in Vienna in 1809 through Count Gleichenstein. He, Beethoven, was not only impressed by the culture, refinement and musical taste of the parents, but also by the beauty and intellect of the daughters Therese and Anna. Therese was a very good piano player and became Beethoven`s pupil; she was also the niece of Beethoven`s physician Dr. Malfatti. All this made the Malfatti house very attractive for Beethoven and also resulted in an unusually warm relationship between Beethoven and the Malfattis and a less severe regard for conventional forms. Though Beethoven almost certainly fell in love with Therese, the social difference was too great and nothing is known of a particular intimacy.
Experts are very sure that ”Fur Elise” (Für Elise) is dedicated to Beethovens beloved Therese Malfatti. L. Nohl, Beethoven`s biographer possessed the original script and published the work in 1867, but he misinterpreted Beethoven`s handwriting -- instead of Therese he read ”For Elise on 27. April, a dedication from L. v. Bthvn.”
This kind of work for solo piano is often referred to as a bagatelle because it is quite short. It is in a-minor and is arranged like a short rondo. The initial melody of „Fur Elise” (Für Elise) is repeated several times and is interrupted by contradictory episodes in neighbouring keys
This Bagatelle was written in about 1810.
One of the versions of the story goes like this:
Beethoven wrote it as a birthday present for one of his pupils, Miss Therese Malfatti. He was probably broke or didn’t realize what women would really enjoy!? He was in love with her and even asked her to marry him. Unfortunately, nothing came out of this, as Therese’s father (Dr.Giovanni Malfatti, who treated Beethoven in his final illness) objected to the union and she married Baron Von Drosdick in 1816.
Because of his very scruffy handwriting ( he probably wrote in old German) his publisher just spelled it as Fur Elise. In a letter of May 1810 to Therese, Beethoven refers to the Bagatelle - ”In this letter, beloved Therese, you are receiving what I promised you.”