Fur Elise

recorded in 2006 - performed by Jorgos

Für Elise (For Elise) is the subtitle of one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions. The official title is Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor.

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Played with a romantic melody in the right hand and supported by arpeggios in the left hand, Für Elise is one of Beethoven’s most recognizable pieces. However, the score was not published until 1867, 40 years after Beethoven’s death.

Pianist and musicologist Luca Chiantore argues that Beethoven might not have been the person who shaped the piece as we know it today. Chiantore states that the original signed manuscript may even have never existed, even though musicologist Barry believes that one of the two surviving outlines closely resembles the published version of Fur Elise.

Fur Elise is featured as soundtrack in numerous movies and TV series, like The Sopranos and Oliver Twist.

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144 Responses to "Fur Elise"

  1. To my brother John: your talents, presented with such humility, eclipsed all that I have encountered, and … you played this piece with quiet familiarity. Such a rare natural – too soon gone

  2. epic piece…

  3. Ah, Für Elise, one of the classics (in the classic). If you want to learn to play the song yourself, you can find great tutorials about it in here http://www.piano-tutorials.net/song/fur-elise.html There are a few of them, some more easy than others. Keep playing!

  4. youde madet says:

    when I listen to that a piece of music like that it’s make me think of my heavenly Abba father who’s able to give somebody a brain like that praise be to God yahweh.

  5. i dont think his death was an accident and h is music has a kind of depressin andangry rythm to it.

  6. the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. i could listen to this all day…… no wait FOREVER!

  8. It is such a beautiful peace of music. I also like Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Beethoven made some really good music back in the 1800′s.

  9. guy Play the melody beethoven fur elise In the opposite direction
    Search on youtube : beethoven fur elise In the opposite direction by chai
    Share and Enjoy

  10. best song ever and I am 11

  11. I’m 12 years old and I love all of Beethoven’s music but Fur Elise is my fav. I want to learn to play it but I don’t have a piano or keybord to play it on.

  12. Beethoven is amazing. Im still a tween, and dont play piano, but I do play the violin. This kind of music just makes me happy, you know? “fur ELise” is my second faviorte classical piece ever, and wish I could learn how to play it.

  13. Aly-

    I learned this song when I was 12 and now im 17.I agree with you, it is such a fun song to play. How old were you when you learned how to play it?

  14. I love this Song! When I was littler my mom owned a music box shaped like a grand piano that played this song. I fell in love with it, and starte dplaying piano so that one day I would learn “Fur Elise”. That day has come and it is my absoulte faviorte song to play. It’s so much fun! Beethoven was amazing!

  15. A Young Mind says:

    I am not old or wise yet i fully enjoy the smooth melody and I appreciate the full musical value of this piece.

  16. Mr. Jorgos, you played this piece very lots of BETTER than me! i played it too fast and sometimes i lost some sounds. Why,i can played ALL of the Hungarian Rhapsodies perfectly but not for this piece? Maybe Fur Elise is not the best for me. I more like it or enjoy it when another person played this song.

  17. EXCELLENT!!! THIS IS A MASTER PIECE!!! even though I love rock song and hip hop, this is still a music in my heart, and music. and even though Beethoven had died his music still bring joy and happiness to the world.

    a wonderful and calm and steady piece. well done

  18. That’s the best music in the world. who will not like this? http://1stpiano.com/beethoven-fur-elise/ is a wonder world filled with music. I like other music too, but I have to say this is a master piece. Well done.

  19. Beethoven says:

    Ars longa vita brevis: art is forever and life is short. Years after beethoven died we still listen to his art.

  20. That’s a wonderful, beautiful piece of music. But just play a little more slower, calmer and steadier.

  21. Free sheet music? go to http://www.free-scores.com. I got this music sheet there.

    Excuse, me, Jerry. Go enjoy new Rock Punk! yeah! avenged Sevenvold! Linkin Park!

    But dont go to this website again.
    It’s a peace world in http://www.1stpiano.com. but suddenly, you and your friends going to interrupting and post bad comments. im sure everybody have their own opinion, but dont attack this again.

  22. This song makes me feel sick in the pit of my stomach.Next time I hear something as bad as this I swear I’m going to do bodily harm to myself. This is one of the many, many, terrible peices I’ve heard by Beethoven today.

  23. Music Class says:

    I love this piece, it just stinks that I can’t find it for free to download.

  24. Ed Hamilton says:

    This one and the Mozart fantasy are being played too fast. They looses some of thier melodic character when rushed. The pieces themselves are just heavenly, however.

  25. eric nassar says:

    awesome melody!!

  26. It’s very popular, but almost all my friends didn’t know the full part of Fur Elise, either the bioghraphy of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s live or the “Real” part of music?
    Beethoven was very amazing. he started to loss his hearing in 1811, and i wonder when he compose this songs?

  27. whellllllll what do you pickle no i like pickles but you like the song and i do to my name is pickls

  28. Esta musica es infinitamente hermosa.

  29. This is one of the most beautiful songs known to man. I love all classical music. I am a fifteen year old girl from Amarica and I am just pround to say, when my teachers play the classical music I play along with the piano while everyone else moans that it’s not rap or something else. I love Moonlight Sontana the most. I have learned to play both on the piano very well. I don’t think I could live without the musical styling of Beehtoven. Or any other classical music artist.

    • Those not willing to at least try new things are going to live VERY boring lives. March to your own drummer and leave those with closed minds at the back of the parade to clean-up after the horses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am proud of you.

    • Beethoven says:

      Yes my real name is beethoven. I was named after him. and as you said many people our age do not like classical instead they listen to rap. Why I have no idea. But I have learned how to play this song and moonlight sonata onpiano although I enjoy this one better.

  30. Dave K. Modesto, Ca. says:

    HEY I KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT MOZART! By the way, Shelley is under me! HA HA HA HA

  31. I ahve been playing for ages


  33. its nice !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. The piece is in A minor and is set in 3/8 time. It begins with an A minor theme marked ‘Poco moto’ (with movement), with the left hand playing arpeggios alternating between A minor and E major. It then moves into a brief section based around C major and G major, before returning to the original theme. It then enters a lighter section in the subdominant key, F major. It consists of a similar texture to the A section,where the right hand plays a melody over left hand arpeggios. It then enters a 32nd note C major figure before returning to the A section. The piece then moves to an agitated theme in D minor with an A pedal point, as the right hand plays diminished chords. This section then concludes with an ascending A minor arpeggio before beginning a chromatic descent over two octaves, and then returning to the A section. The piece ends in its starting key of A minor with an authentic cadence. Despite being called a bagatelle, the piece is in rondo form. The structure is A – B – A – C -A. The first theme is not technically difficult and is often taught alone as it provides a good basic exercise for piano pedalling technique. However, much greater technique is required for the B section as well as the rapid rising A minor figure in the C section.

    The version of ‘Fur Elise’ we hear today is in fact an earlier version that was transcribed by Ludwig Nohl. There is in fact a later version, with drastic changes to accompaniment – which was transcribed from a later manuscript by Barry Cooper. The most notable difference is in the first theme, the left-hand arpeggio’s are delayed by a 16th note beat. There are a few extra bars in the transitional section into the B section; and finally – the rising A minor arpeggio figure is moved later into the piece. The tempo marking ‘Poco Moto’ is believed to have been on the manuscript that Ludwig Nohl transcribed (now lost). The later version includes the marking ‘Molto Grazioso’. It’s believed that Beethoven intended on adding the piece to a cycle of Bagatelles.[citation needed]

    The letters that spell Elise can be decoded as the first three notes of the piece. Because an E♭ is called an Es in German and is pronounced as “S”, that makes E-(L)-(I)-S-E: E-(L)-(I)-E♭-E, which by enharmonic equivalents sounds the same as E-(L)-(I)-D♯-E. Furthermore, since “Dis” is the pronunciation of D♯, if the first several notes of the composition are sung with note names, it becomes E-Dis-E-Dis-E (…), creating a word that, as a mondegreen, sounds significantly similar to the name “Elise” (the “L” sound and “D” sound are alveolar consonants). The same notion however is also valid for the name “Therese”.

  35. Beethoven was the grandson of a musician of Flemish origin named Lodewijk van Beethoven (1712–73).[3] Beethoven was named after his grandfather, as Lodewijk is the Dutch cognate of Ludwig. Beethoven’s grandfather was employed as a bass singer at the court of the Elector of Cologne, rising to become Kapellmeister (music director). He had one son, Johann van Beethoven (1740–1792), who worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment, also giving lessons on piano and violin to supplement his income.[3] Johann married Maria Magdalena Keverich in 1767; she was the daughter of Johann Heinrich Keverich, who had been the head chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier.[4]

    Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn. There is no authentic record of his birthday; however, the registry of his baptism, in a Roman Catholic service at the Parish of St. Regius on 17 December, 1770, survives.[5] As children of that era were traditionally baptised the day after birth in the Catholic Rhine country, and it is known that Beethoven’s family and his teacher Johann Albrechtsberger celebrated his birthday on 16 December, most scholars accept 16 December, 1770 as Beethoven’s date of birth.[6][7] Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, and two younger brothers survived infancy. Caspar Anton Carl was born on 8 April 1774, and Nikolaus Johann, the youngest, was born on 2 October 1776.[8]

    Beethoven’s first music teacher was his father. Tradition has it that Johann van Beethoven was a harsh instructor, and that the child Beethoven, “made to stand at the keyboard, was often in tears.”[3] However, the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians claimed that no solid documentation supported this, and asserted that “speculation and myth-making have both been productive.”[3] Beethoven had other local teachers: the court organist Gilles van den Eeden (d. 1782), Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer (a family friend, who taught Beethoven piano), and a relative, Franz Rovantini (violin and viola).[3] His musical talent manifested itself early. Johann, aware of Leopold Mozart’s successes in this area (with son Wolfgang and daughter Nannerl), attempted to exploit his son as a child prodigy, claiming that Beethoven was six (he was seven) on the posters for Beethoven’s first public performance in March 1778.[9]

    Some time after 1779, Beethoven began his studies with his most important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe, who was appointed the Court’s Organist in that year.[10] Neefe taught Beethoven composition, and by March 1783 had helped him write his first published composition: a set of keyboard variations (WoO 63).[8] Beethoven soon began working with Neefe as assistant organist, first on an unpaid basis (1781), and then as paid employee (1784) of the court chapel conducted by the Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi. His first three piano sonatas, named “Kurfürst” (“Elector”) for their dedication to the Elector Maximilian Frederick, were published in 1783. Maximilian Frederick, who died in 1784, not long after Beethoven’s appointment as assistant organist, had noticed Beethoven’s talent early, and had subsidised and encouraged the young man’s musical studies.[11]

    A portrait of the 13-year-old Beethoven by an unknown Bonn master (c. 1783)
    Maximilian Frederick’s successor as the Elector of Bonn was Maximilian Franz, the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and he brought notable changes to Bonn. Echoing changes made in Vienna by his brother Joseph, he introduced reforms based on Enlightenment philosophy, with increased support for education and the arts. The teenage Beethoven was almost certainly influenced by these changes. He may also have been influenced at this time by ideas prominent in freemasonry, as Neefe and others around Beethoven were members of the local chapter of the Order of the Illuminati.[12]

    In March 1787 Beethoven traveled to Vienna (possibly at another’s expense) for the first time, apparently in the hope of studying with Mozart. The details of their relationship are uncertain, including whether or not they actually met.[13] After just two weeks there Beethoven learned that his mother was severely ill, and returned home. His mother died shortly thereafter, and the father lapsed deeper into alcoholism. As a result, Beethoven became responsible for the care of his two younger brothers, and he spent the next five years in Bonn.[14]

    Beethoven was introduced to several people who became important in his life in these years. Franz Wegeler, a young medical student, introduced him to the von Breuning family (one of whose daughters Wegeler eventually married). Beethoven was often at the von Breuning household, where he was exposed to German and classical literature, and where he also taught piano to some of the children. The von Breuning family environment was also less stressful than his own, which was increasingly dominated by his father’s decline.[15] Beethoven came to the attention of Count Ferdinand von Waldstein, who became a lifelong friend and financial supporter.[16]

    In 1789 Beethoven obtained a legal order by which half of his father’s salary was paid directly to him for support of the family.[17] He also contributed further to the family’s income by playing viola in the court orchestra. This familiarised Beethoven with a variety of operas, including three of Mozart’s operas performed at court in this period. He also befriended Anton Reicha, a flautist and violinist of about his own age who was the conductor’s nephew.[18]

    Establishing his career in Vienna

    With the Elector’s help, Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792.[19] He was probably first introduced to Joseph Haydn in late 1790, when the latter was traveling to London and stopped in Bonn around Christmas time.[20] They met in Bonn on Haydn’s return trip from London to Vienna in July 1792, and it is likely that arrangements were made at that time for Beethoven to study with the old master.[21] In the intervening years, Beethoven composed a significant number of works (none were published at the time, and most are now listed as works without opus) that demonstrated his growing range and maturity. Musicologists identified a theme similar to those of his third symphony in a set of variations written in 1791.[22] Beethoven left Bonn for Vienna in November 1792, amid rumors of war spilling out of France, and learned shortly after his arrival that his father had died.[23][24] Count Waldstein in his farewell note to Beethoven wrote: “Through uninterrupted diligence you will receive Mozart’s spirit through Haydn’s hands.”[24] Beethoven responded to the widespread feeling that he was a successor to the recently deceased Mozart over the next few years by studying that master’s work and writing works with a distinctly Mozartean flavor.[25]

    Portrait of Beethoven as a young man by Carl Traugott Riedel (1769–1832)
    Beethoven did not immediately set out to establish himself as a composer, but rather devoted himself to study and performance. Working under Haydn’s direction,[26] he sought to master counterpoint. He also studied violin under Ignaz Schuppanzigh.[27] Early in this period, he also began receiving occasional instruction from Antonio Salieri, primarily in Italian vocal composition style; this relationship persisted until at least 1802, and possibly 1809.[28] With Haydn’s departure for England in 1794, Beethoven was expected by the Elector to return home. He chose instead to remain in Vienna, continuing his instruction in counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger and other teachers. Although his stipend from the Elector expired, a number of Viennese noblemen had already recognised his ability and offered him financial support, among them Prince Joseph Franz Lobkowitz, Prince Karl Lichnowsky, and Baron Gottfried van Swieten.[29]

    By 1793, Beethoven established a reputation as an improviser in the salons of the nobility, often playing the preludes and fugues of J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.[30] His friend Nikolaus Simrock had begun publishing his compositions; the first are believed to be a set of variations (WoO 66).[31] By 1793, he had established a reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso, but he apparently withheld works from publication so that their publication in 1795 would have greater impact.[29] Beethoven’s first public performance in Vienna was in March 1795, a concert in which he debuted a piano concerto. It is uncertain whether this was the First or Second. Documentary evidence is unclear, and both concertos were in a similar state of near-completion (neither was completed or published for several years).[32][33] Shortly after this performance, he arranged for the publication of the first of his compositions to which he assigned an opus number, the piano trios of Opus 1. These works were dedicated to his patron Prince Lichnowsky,[32] and were a financial success; Beethoven’s profits were nearly sufficient to cover his living expenses for a year.[34]

    Musical maturity

    Between 1798 and 1802 Beethoven tackled what he considered the pinnacles of composition: the string quartet and the symphony. With the composition of his first six string quartets (Op. 18) between 1798 and 1800 (written on commission for, and dedicated to, Prince Lobkowitz), and their publication in 1801, along with premieres of the First and Second Symphonies in 1800 and 1802, Beethoven was justifiably considered one of the most important of a generation of young composers following Haydn and Mozart. He continued to write in other forms, turning out widely known piano sonatas like the “Pathétique” sonata (Op. 13), which Cooper describes as “surpass[ing] any of his previous compositions, in strength of character, depth of emotion, level of originality, and ingenuity of motivic and tonal manipulation.”[35] He also completed his Septet (Op. 20) in 1799, which was one of his most popular works during his lifetime.

    Beethoven in 1803, painted by Christian Horneman
    For the premiere of his First Symphony, Beethoven hired the Burgtheater on 2 April 1800, and staged an extensive program of music, including works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as the Septet, the First Symphony, and one of his piano concertos (the latter three works all then unpublished). The concert, which the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung described as “the most interesting concert in a long time,” was not without difficulties; among the criticisms was that “the players did not bother to pay any attention to the soloist.”[36]

    While Mozart and Haydn were undeniable influences (for example, Beethoven’s quintet for piano and winds is said to bear a strong resemblance to Mozart’s work for the same configuration, albeit with his own distinctive touches),[37] other composers like Muzio Clementi were also stylistic influences[citation needed]. Beethoven’s melodies, musical development, use of modulation and texture, and characterization of emotion all set him apart from his influences, and heightened the impact some of his early works made when they were first published.[38] By the end of 1800 Beethoven and his music were already much in demand from patrons and publishers.[39]

    Ludwig van Beethoven: detail of an 1804 portrait by Joseph Willibrod Mähler. The complete painting depicts Beethoven with a lyre-guitar
    In May of 1799, Beethoven taught piano to the daughters of Hungarian Countess Anna Brunsvik. During this time, Beethoven fell in love with the younger daughter Josephine[40] who has later become the subject of speculation about his “Immortal Beloved”. Shortly after these lessons, she was married to Count Josef Deym. Beethoven was a regular visitor at their house, teaching and playing at parties. While her marriage was by all accounts happy (despite initial financial problems),[41] the couple had four children, and her relationship with Beethoven intensified after Deym died suddenly in 1804.[42]

    Beethoven had few other students. From 1801 to 1805, he tutored Ferdinand Ries, who went on to become a composer and later wrote Beethoven remembered, a book about their encounters. The young Carl Czerny studied with Beethoven from 1801 to 1803. Czerny went on to become a renowned music teacher himself, instructing Franz Liszt, and gave the Vienna premiere of Beethoven’s fifth piano concerto (the “Emperor”) in 1812.[citation needed]

    Beethoven’s compositions between 1800 and 1802 were dominated by two works, although he continued to produce smaller works, including the Moonlight Sonata. In the spring of 1801 he completed The Creatures of Prometheus, a ballet. The work received numerous performances in 1801 and 1802, and Beethoven rushed to publish a piano arrangement to capitalise on its early popularity.[43] In the spring of 1802 he completed the Second Symphony, intended for performance at a concert that was ultimately canceled. The symphony received its premiere at a subscription concert in April 1803 at the Theater an der Wien, where Beethoven had been appointed composer in residence. In addition to the Second Symphony, the concert also featured the First Symphony, the Third Piano Concerto, and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives. While reviews were mixed, the concert was a financial success; Beethoven was able to charge three times the cost of a typical concert ticket.[44]

    Beethoven’s business dealings with publishers also began to improve in 1802 when his brother Carl, who had previously assisted him more casually, began to assume a larger role in the management of his affairs. In addition to negotiating higher prices for recently composed works, Carl also began selling some of Beethoven’s earlier unpublished works, and encouraged Beethoven (against the latter’s preference) to also make arrangements and transcriptions of his more popular works for other instrument combinations. Beethoven acceded to these requests, as he could not prevent publishers from hiring others to do similar arrangements of his works.[45]

    Loss of hearing

    Around 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing.[46] He suffered from a severe form of tinnitus, a “ringing” in his ears that made it hard for him to hear music; he also avoided conversation. The cause of Beethoven’s deafness is unknown, but it has variously been attributed to syphilis,[citation needed] lead poisoning, typhus, auto-immune disorder (such as systemic lupus erythematosus), and even his habit of immersing his head in cold water to stay awake. The explanation, from the autopsy of the time, is that he had a “distended inner ear,” which developed lesions over time. Because of the high levels of lead found in samples of Beethoven’s hair, that hypothesis has been extensively analyzed. While the likelihood of lead poisoning is very high, the deafness associated with it seldom takes the form that Beethoven exhibited.[citation needed]

    Beethoven in 1815 portrait by Joseph Willibrod Mähler
    As early as 1801, Beethoven wrote to friends describing his symptoms and the difficulties they caused in both professional and social settings (although it is likely some of his close friends were already aware of the problems).[47] Beethoven, on the advice of his doctor, lived in the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, from April to October 1802 in an attempt to come to terms with his condition. There he wrote his Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter to his brothers which records his thoughts of suicide due to his growing deafness and records his resolution to continue living for and through his art.[48] Over time, his hearing loss became profound: there is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he wept.[49] Beethoven’s hearing loss did not prevent his composing music, but it made playing at concerts—a lucrative source of income—increasingly difficult. After a failed attempt in 1811 to perform his own Piano Concerto No. 5 (the “Emperor”), which was premiered by his student Carl Czerny, he never performed in public again.

    A large collection of Beethoven’s hearing aids, such as a special ear horn, can be viewed at the Beethoven House Museum in Bonn, Germany. Despite his obvious distress, Carl Czerny remarked that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until 1812.[50] By 1814 however, Beethoven was almost totally deaf, and when a group of visitors saw him play a loud arpeggio of thundering bass notes at his piano remarking, “Ist es nicht schön?” (Is it not beautiful?), they felt deep sympathy considering his courage and sense of humor (he lost the ability to hear higher frequencies first).[51]

    As a result of Beethoven’s hearing loss, a unique historical record has been preserved: his conversation books. Used primarily in the last ten or so years of his life, his friends wrote in these books so that he could know what they were saying, and he then responded either orally or in the book. The books contain discussions about music and other matters, and give insights into his thinking; they are a source for investigation into how he felt his music should be performed, and also his perception of his relationship to art. Out of a total of 400 conversation books, 264 were destroyed (and others were altered) after Beethoven’s death by Anton Schindler, in an attempt to paint an idealised picture of the composer.[52]


    Beethoven’s patron, Archduke Rudolph
    While Beethoven earned income from publication of his works and from public performances, he also depended on the generosity of patrons for income, for whom he gave private performances and copies of works they commissioned for an exclusive period prior to their publication. Some of his early patrons, including Prince Lobkowitz and Prince Lichnowsky, gave him annual stipends in addition to commissioning works and purchasing published works.[53]

    Perhaps Beethoven’s most important aristocratic patron was Archduke Rudolph, the youngest son of Emperor Leopold II, who in 1803 or 1804 began to study piano and composition with Beethoven. The cleric (Cardinal-Priest) and the composer became friends, and their meetings continued until 1824.[54] Beethoven dedicated 14 compositions to Rudolph, including the Archduke Trio (1811) and his great Missa Solemnis (1823). Rudolph, in turn, dedicated one of his own compositions to Beethoven. The letters Beethoven wrote to Rudolph are today kept at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.[citation needed]

    In the Autumn of 1808, after having been rejected for a position at the royal theatre, Beethoven received an offer from Napoleon’s brother Jérôme Bonaparte, then king of Westphalia, for a well-paid position as Kapellmeister at the court in Cassel. To persuade him to stay in Vienna, the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz, after receiving representations from the composer’s friends, pledged to pay Beethoven a pension of 4000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolph paid his share of the pension on the agreed date.[55] Kinsky, immediately called to military duty, did not contribute and soon died after falling from his horse. Lobkowitz stopped paying in September 1811. No successors came forward to continue the patronage, and Beethoven relied mostly on selling composition rights and a small pension after 1815. The effects of these financial arrangements were undermined to some extent by war with France, which caused significant inflation when the government printed money to fund its war efforts.[citation needed]

    The Middle period

    Beethoven Monument in Bonn, Muensterplatz
    Beethoven’s return to Vienna from Heiligenstadt was marked by a change in musical style, now recognised as the start of his “Middle” or “Heroic” period. According to Carl Czerny, Beethoven said, “I am not satisfied with the work I have done so far. From now on I intend to take a new way.”[56] This “Heroic” phase was characterised by a large number of original works composed on a grand scale.[57] The first major work employing this new style was the Third Symphony in E flat, known as the “Eroica.” This work was longer and larger in scope than any previous symphony. When it premiered in early 1805 it received a mixed reception. Some listeners objected to its length or misunderstood its structure, while others viewed it as a masterpiece.[58]

    Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (Op. 67) was composed during Beethoven’s Middle period. (first movement)
    Beethoven composed prolifically throughout the Middle period. The period is sometimes associated with a “heroic manner” of composing.[59] The use of the term “heroic” has become increasingly controversial in Beethoven scholarship. The term is more frequently used as an alternate name for the Middle period.[60] The appropriateness of the term “heroic” to describe the Middle period has been questioned as well. While some of Beethoven’s Middle period works, like the Third and Fifth Symphonies, are easily associated with the term “heroic”, many other middle period works, like the “Pastoral” Sixth Symphony, are not obviously “heroic”.[61]

    Some of the Middle period works extend the musical language Beethoven had inherited from Haydn and Mozart. The Middle period work includes the Third through Eighth Symphonies, the string quartets 7–11, the “Waldstein” and “Appassionata” piano sonatas, Christ on the Mount of Olives, the opera Fidelio, the Violin Concerto and many other compositions. During this time Beethoven earned his living from publishing and performances of his work, and from his patrons. His position at the Theater an der Wien was terminated when the theater changed management in early 1804, and he was forced to move temporarily to the suburbs of Vienna with his friend Stephan von Breuning. This slowed work on Fidelio, his largest work to date, for a time. It was delayed again by the Austrian censor, and finally premiered in November 1805 to houses that were nearly empty because of the French occupation of the city. In addition to being a financial failure, this version of Fidelio was also a critical failure, and Beethoven began revising it.[62]

    The Middle period string quartets are Op. 59 no 1, Op 59 no 2, Op 59 no 3 (The Razumowski quartets), Op. 74 (the Harp) and Op 95. Beethoven’s publisher said that the world was not ready for them. The slow movement of Op. 59 no 2 has been described as the closest Beethoven got to heaven. Beethoven said that the Op. 95 quartet was not suitable for public performance.

    The work of the Middle period established Beethoven’s reputation as a master. In a review from 1810, he was enshrined by E. T. A. Hoffmann as one of the three great “Romantic” composers; Hoffman called Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony “one of the most important works of the age.” A particular trauma for Beethoven occurred during this period in May 1809, when the attacking forces of Napoleon bombarded Vienna. According to Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven, very worried that the noise would destroy what remained of his hearing, hid in the basement of his brother’s house, covering his ears with pillows.[63] He was composing the “Emperor” Concerto at the time.

    Personal and family difficulties

    Beethoven met Giulietta Guicciardi in about 1800 through the Brunsvik family. He mentions his love for her in a November 1801 letter to his boyhood friend, Franz Wegeler. Beethoven dedicated to Giulietta his Sonata No. 14, popularly known as the “Moonlight” Sonata. As Beethoven mentioned to Wegeler, he could not consider marrying her (a countess), due to the difference in status (class). In 1803 she married Count Wenzel Robert von Gallenberg (1783–1839), another amateur composer.[64]

    Beethoven’s relationship with Josephine Deym notably deepened after the death of her first husband in 1804. There is some evidence that Beethoven may have proposed to her, at least informally. While his feelings were obviously reciprocated, she was forced (by her family) to turn him down, and their relationship effectively ended in 1807. She cited her “duty,” an apparent reference to the fact that she would have lost the custodianship of her children in case of a marriage to a commoner.[65] After Josephine married Baron von Stackelberg (in 1810), Beethoven may have proposed to Therese Malfatti, the supposed dedicatee of “Für Elise”;[66] his common status may also have interfered with those plans.

    Life mask made in 1812
    In the spring of 1811 Beethoven became seriously ill, suffering headaches and high fever. On the advice of his doctor, he spent six weeks in the Bohemian spa town of Teplitz. The following winter, which was dominated by work on the Seventh symphony, he was again ill, and his doctor ordered him to spend the summer of 1812 at the spa Teplitz. It is certain that he was at Teplitz when he wrote a love letter to his “Immortal Beloved.”[67] The identity of the intended recipient has long been a subject of debate; candidates include Julie Guicciardi, Josephine Brunsvik, and Antonie Brentano.

    Beethoven’s visit to his brother at the end of October 1812 was an attempt to end the latter’s cohabitation with Therese Obermayer, a woman who already had an illegitimate child. He was unable to convince Johann to end the relationship, so he appealed to the local civic and religious authorities. The end result of Beethoven’s meddling was that Johann and Therese married on 9 November.[68]

    Beethoven in 1814. Portrait by Louis-René Létronne.
    In early 1813 Beethoven apparently went through a difficult emotional period, and his compositional output dropped. His personal appearance, which had generally been neat, degraded, as did his manners in public, especially when dining. Beethoven took care of his brother (who was suffering from tuberculosis) and his family, an expense that he claimed left him penniless.

    Beethoven was finally motivated to begin significant composition again in June 1813, when news arrived of the defeat of one of Napoleon’s armies at Vitoria, Spain, by a coalition of forces under the Duke of Wellington. This news stimulated him to write the battle symphony known as Wellington’s Victory. It premiered on 8 December at a charity concert for victims of the war along with his Seventh Symphony. The work was a popular hit, likely because of its programmatic style that was entertaining and easy to understand. It received repeat performances at concerts Beethoven staged in January and February 1814. Beethoven’s renewed popularity led to demands for a revival of Fidelio, which, in its third revised version, was also well-received at its July opening. That summer he composed a piano sonata for the first time in five years (No. 27, Opus 90). This work was in a markedly more Romantic style than his earlier sonatas. He was also one of many composers who produced music in a patriotic vein to entertain the many heads of state and diplomats that came to the Congress of Vienna that began in November 1814. His output of songs included his only song cycle, “An die ferne Geliebte,” and the extraordinarily expressive, but almost incoherent, “An die Hoffnung” (Opus 94).[citation needed]

    Custody struggle and illness

    Between 1815 and 1817 Beethoven’s output dropped again. Beethoven attributed part of this to a lengthy illness (he called it an “inflammatory fever”) that afflicted him for more than a year, starting in October 1816.[69] Biographers have speculated on a variety of other reasons that also contributed to the decline, including the difficulties in the personal lives of his would-be paramours and the harsh censorship policies of the Austrian government. The illness and death of his brother Carl from consumption likely also played a role.

    Beethoven in 1818 by August Klöber
    Carl had been ill for some time, and Beethoven spent a small fortune in 1815 on his care. When he finally died on 15 November 1815, Beethoven immediately became embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with Carl’s wife Johanna over custody of their son Karl, then nine years old. Beethoven, who considered Johanna an unfit parent because of her morals (she had an illegitimate child by a different father before marrying Carl, and had been convicted of theft) and financial management, had successfully applied to Carl to have himself named sole guardian of the boy. A late codicil to Carl’s will gave him and Johanna joint guardianship. While Beethoven was successful at having his nephew removed from her custody in February 1816, the case was not fully resolved until 1820, and he was frequently preoccupied by the demands of the litigation and seeing to Karl’s welfare, whom he first placed in a private school. The custody fight brought out the worst aspects of Beethoven’s character; in the lengthy court cases Beethoven stopped at nothing to ensure that he achieved this goal, interrupting his work for long periods.[citation needed]

    The Austrian court system had one court for the nobility and members of the Landtafel, the R&I Landrechte, and many others for commoners, among them the Civil Court of the Vienna Magistrate. Beethoven disguised the fact that the Dutch “van” in his name did not denote nobility as does the German “von,”[70] and his case was tried in the Landrechte. Owing to his influence with the court, Beethoven felt assured of the favorable outcome of being awarded sole guardianship. While giving evidence to the Landrechte, however, Beethoven inadvertently[70] admitted that he was not nobly born. The case was transferred to the Magistracy on 18 December 1818, where he lost sole guardianship.

    Beethoven appealed, and regained custody. Johanna’s appeal to the Emperor was not successful: the Emperor “washed his hands of the matter.” Beethoven stopped at nothing to blacken her name, as can be read in surviving court papers. During the years of custody that followed, Beethoven attempted to ensure that Karl lived to the highest moral standards. His overbearing manner and frequent interference in his nephew’s life apparently drove Karl to attempt suicide on 31 July 1826 by shooting himself in the head. He survived, and was brought to his mother’s house, where he recuperated. He and Beethoven reconciled, but Karl insisted on joining the army, and last saw Beethoven in early 1827.[citation needed]

    The only major works Beethoven produced during this time were two cello sonatas, a piano sonata, and collections of folk song settings. He began sketches for the Ninth Symphony in 1817.[citation needed]

    Late works

    Beethoven began a renewed study of older music, including works by J. S. Bach and Handel, that were then being published in the first attempts at complete editions. He composed the Consecration of the House Overture, which was the first work to attempt to incorporate his new influences. A new style, now called his “late period,” emerged when he returned to the keyboard to compose his first piano sonatas in almost a decade. The works of the late period are commonly held to include the last five piano sonatas and the Diabelli Variations, the last two sonatas for cello and piano, the late quartets (see below), and two works for very large forces: the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony.[citation needed]

    Beethoven in 1823; copy of a destroyed portrait by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
    By early 1818 Beethoven’s health had improved, and his nephew moved in with him in January. On the downside, his hearing had deteriorated to the point that conversation became difficult, necessitating the use of conversation books. His household management had also improved somewhat; Nanette Streicher, who had assisted in his care during his illness, continued to provide some support, and he finally found a skilled cook.[71] His musical output in 1818 was still somewhat reduced, but included song collections and the Hammerklavier Sonata, as well as sketches for two symphonies that eventually coalesced into the epic Ninth. In 1819 he was again preoccupied by the legal processes around Karl, and began work on the Diabelli Variations and the Missa Solemnis.[citation needed]

    For the next few years he continued to work on the Missa, composing piano sonatas and bagatelles to satisfy the demands of publishers and the need for income, and completing the Diabelli Variations. He was ill again for an extended time in 1821, and completed the Missa in 1823, three years after its original due date. He also opened discussions with his publishers over the possibility of producing a complete edition of his work, an idea that was arguably not fully realised until 1971. Beethoven’s brother Johann began to take a hand in his business affairs around this time, much in the way Carl had earlier, locating older unpublished works to offer for publication and offering the Missa to multiple publishers with the goal of getting a higher price for it.[citation needed]

    Two commissions in 1822 improved Beethoven’s financial prospects. The Philharmonic Society of London offered a commission for a symphony, and Prince Nikolay Golitsin of St. Petersburg offered to pay Beethoven’s price for three string quartets. The first of these spurred Beethoven to finish the Ninth Symphony, which premiered, along with the Missa Solemnis, on 7 May 1824, to great acclaim at the Kärntnertortheater. The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung gushed, “inexhaustible genius had shown us a new world,” and Carl Czerny wrote that his symphony “breathes such a fresh, lively, indeed youthful spirit [...] so much power, innovation, and beauty as ever [came] from the head of this original man, although he certainly sometimes led the old wigs to shake their heads.”[72] Unlike his earlier concerts, Beethoven made little money on this one, as the expenses of mounting it were significantly higher.[72] A second concert on 24 May, in which the producer guaranteed Beethoven a minimum fee, was poorly attended; nephew Karl noted that “many people have already gone into the country.”[73] It was Beethoven’s last public concert.[73]

    The piano sonata in C minor (Op. 111) was written between 1821 and 1822, during Beethoven’s Late period. (first movement)
    Beethoven then turned to writing the string quartets for Golitsin. This series of quartets, known as the “Late Quartets,” went far beyond what either musicians or audiences were ready for at that time. One musician commented that “we know there is something there, but we do not know what it is.” Composer Louis Spohr called them “indecipherable, uncorrected horrors,” though that opinion has changed considerably from the time of their first bewildered reception. They continued (and continue) to inspire musicians and composers, from Richard Wagner to Béla Bartók, for their unique forms and ideas. Of the late quartets, Beethoven’s favorite was the Fourteenth Quartet, op. 131 in C# minor, which he rated as his most perfect single work.[74] The last musical wish of Schubert was to hear the Op. 131 quartet, which was done on 14 November 1828, five days before Schubert’s death.[75]

    Beethoven wrote the last quartets amidst failing health. In April 1825 he was bedridden, and remained ill for about a month. The illness—or more precisely, his recovery from it—is remembered for having given rise to the deeply felt slow movement of the Fifteenth Quartet, which Beethoven called “Holy song of thanks (‘Heiliger dankgesang’) to the divinity, from one made well.” He went on to complete the (misnumbered) Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Sixteenth Quartets. The last work completed by Beethoven was the substitute final movement of the Thirteenth Quartet, deemed necessary to replace the difficult Große Fuge. Shortly thereafter, in December 1826, illness struck again, with episodes of vomiting and diarrhea that nearly ended his life.[citation needed]

    Illness and death

    Main article: Death of Ludwig van Beethoven

    Beethoven’s death mask by Josef Danhauser

    Beethoven’s grave site, Vienna Zentralfriedhof
    Beethoven was bedridden for most of his remaining months, and many friends came to visit. He died on Monday, 26 March 1827, during a thunderstorm. His friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who was present at the time, claimed that there was a peal of thunder at the moment of death. An autopsy revealed significant liver damage, which may have been due to heavy alcohol consumption.[76]

    Beethoven’s funeral procession on 29 March 1827 was attended by an estimated 20,000 Viennese citizens. Franz Schubert, who died the following year and was buried next to Beethoven, was one of the torchbearers. Unlike Mozart, who was buried anonymously in a communal grave (the custom at the time), Beethoven was buried in a dedicated grave in the Währing cemetery, north-west of Vienna, after a requiem mass at the church of the Holy Trinity (Dreifaltigkeitskirche). His remains were exhumed for study in 1862, and moved in 1888 to Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof.[76]

    There is dispute about the cause of Beethoven’s death; alcoholic cirrhosis, syphilis, infectious hepatitis, lead poisoning, sarcoidosis and Whipple’s disease have all been proposed.[77] Friends and visitors before and after his death clipped locks of his hair, some of which have been preserved and subjected to additional analysis, as have skull fragments removed during the 1862 exhumation.[78] Some of these analyses have led to controversial assertions that Beethoven was accidentally poisoned to death by excessive doses of lead-based treatments administered under instruction from his doctor.[79][80][81]


    Beethoven’s personal life was troubled by his encroaching deafness and irritability brought on by chronic abdominal pain (beginning in his twenties) which led him to contemplate suicide (documented in his Heiligenstadt Testament). Beethoven was often irascible and may have suffered from bipolar disorder, as discussed in The Key to Genius: Manic Depression and the Creative Life by D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb.[82][83] Nevertheless, he had a close and devoted circle of friends all his life, thought to have been attracted by his strength of personality. Toward the end of his life, Beethoven’s friends competed in their efforts to help him cope with his incapacities.[84]

    Sources show Beethoven’s disdain for authority, and for social rank. He stopped performing at the piano if the audience chatted amongst themselves, or afforded him less than their full attention. At soirées, he refused to perform if suddenly called upon to do so. Eventually, after many confrontations, the Archduke Rudolph decreed that the usual rules of court etiquette did not apply to Beethoven.[84]

    Beethoven was attracted to the ideals of the Enlightenment. In 1804, when Napoleon’s imperial ambitions became clear, Beethoven took hold of the title-page of his Third Symphony and scratched the name Bonaparte out so violently that he made a hole in the paper. He later changed the work’s title to “Sinfonia Eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d’un grand’uom” (“Heroic Symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”), and he rededicated it to his patron, Prince Joseph Franz von Lobkowitz, at whose palace it was first performed.[citation needed]

    The fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony features an elaborate choral setting of Schiller’s Ode An die Freude (“Ode to Joy”), an optimistic hymn championing the brotherhood of humanity.

    Religious views

    Main article: Ludwig van Beethoven’s religious views

    Scholars disagree about Beethoven’s religious beliefs, and about the role they played in his work. It has been asserted, but not proven, that Beethoven was a Freemason.[85]


    A bust based upon Beethoven’s life mask
    Further information: Beethoven’s musical style, Beethoven and C minor, and List of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven

    Beethoven is acknowledged as one of the giants of classical music; occasionally he is referred to as one of the “three Bs” (along with Bach and Brahms) who epitomise that tradition. He was also a pivotal figure in the transition from the 18th century musical classicism to 19th century romanticism, and his influence on subsequent generations of composers was profound.[84]


    Beethoven composed in several musical genres, and for a variety of instrument combinations. His works for symphony orchestra include nine symphonies (the Ninth Symphony includes a chorus), and about a dozen pieces of “occasional” music. He wrote seven concerti for one or more soloists and orchestra, as well as four shorter works that include soloists accompanied by orchestra. His only opera is Fidelio; other vocal works with orchestral accompaniment include two masses and a number of shorter works.[citation needed]

    His large body of compositions for piano includes 32 piano sonatas and numerous shorter pieces, including arrangements of some of his other works. Works with piano accompaniment include 10 violin sonatas, 5 cello sonatas, and a sonata for French horn, as well as numerous lieder.[citation needed]

    Beethoven also wrote a significant quantity of chamber music. In addition to 16 string quartets, he wrote five works for string quintet, seven for piano trio, five for string trio, and more than a dozen works for various combinations of wind instruments.[citation needed]

    The three periods

    “Für Elise”

    Sample of the Für Elise from Beethoven


    Problems listening to this file? See media help.

    Beethoven’s compositional career is usually divided into Early, Middle, and Late periods.[84] In this scheme, his early period is taken to last until about 1802, the middle period from about 1803 to about 1814, and the late period from about 1815.[citation needed]

    In his Early period, Beethoven’s work was strongly influenced by his predecessors Haydn and Mozart. He also explored new directions and gradually expanded the scope and ambition of his work. Some important pieces from the Early period are the first and second symphonies, the set of six string quartets Opus 18, the first two piano concertos, and the first dozen or so piano sonatas, including the famous Pathétique sonata, Op. 13.[citation needed]

    His Middle (Heroic) period began shortly after Beethoven’s personal crisis brought on by his recognition of encroaching deafness. It includes large-scale works that express heroism and struggle. Middle-period works include six symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the last three piano concertos, the Triple Concerto and violin concerto, five string quartets (Nos. 7–11), several piano sonatas (including the Moonlight, Waldstein and Appassionata sonatas), the Kreutzer violin sonata and Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio.[citation needed]

    Beethoven’s Late period began around 1815. Works from this period are characterised by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations, and their intense, highly personal expression. The String Quartet, Op. 131 has seven linked movements, and the Ninth Symphony adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement.[84] Other compositions from this period include the Missa Solemnis, the last five string quartets (including the massive Große Fuge) and the last five piano sonatas.[citation needed]

    Beethoven on screen

    Main articles: Eroica (1949 film), Eroica (2003 film), Immortal Beloved (film), and Copying Beethoven

    Eroica is a 1949 Austrian film depicting life and works of Beethoven (Ewald Balser), which also entered into the 1949 Cannes Film Festival.[86] The film is directed by Walter Kolm-Veltée, produced by Guido Bagier with Walter Kolm-Veltée and written by Walter Kolm-Veltée with Franz Tassié.[87]

    In 1962, Walt Disney produced a made-for-television and extremely fictionalised life of Beethoven titled The Magnificent Rebel. The film was given a two-part premiere on the Walt Disney anthology television series and released to theatres in Europe. It starred Karlheinz Böhm as Beethoven.[88] [89] [90]

    In 1994 a film about Beethoven (Gary Oldman) titled Immortal Beloved was written and directed by Bernard Rose. The story follows Beethoven’s secretary and first biographer, Anton Schindler (portrayed by Jeroen Krabbé), as he attempts to ascertain the true identity of the Unsterbliche Geliebte (Immortal Beloved) addressed in three letters found in the late composer’s private papers. Schindler journeys throughout the Austrian Empire, interviewing women who might be potential candidates, as well as through Beethoven’s own tumultuous life. Filming took place in the Czech cities of Prague and Kromeriz and the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna, Austria, between 23 May and 29 July 1994.[91] [92]

    In 2003 a made-for-television BBC/Opus Arte film Eroica was released, with Ian Hart as Beethoven and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner performing the Eroica Symphony in its entirety. The subject of the film is the first performance of the Eroica Symphony in 1804 at the palace of Prince Lobkowitz (played by Jack Davenport).[93]

    In a 2005 three-part BBC miniseries, Beethoven was played by Paul Rhys.[94]

    A movie titled Copying Beethoven was released in 2006, starring Ed Harris as Beethoven. This film was a fictionalised account of Beethoven’s last days, and his struggle to produce his Ninth Symphony before he died.[95]


    The Beethoven Monument, Bonn was unveiled in August 1845, in honour of his 75th anniversary. It was the first statue of a composer created in Germany, and the music festival that accompanied the unveiling was the impetus for the very hasty construction of the original Beethovenhalle in Bonn (it was designed and built within less than a month, on the urging of Franz Liszt). A statue to Mozart had been unveiled in Salzburg, Austria in 1842. Vienna did not honour Beethoven with a statue until 1880.[96]

    See also

    Book: Ludwig van Beethoven

    Wikipedia books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print.

    List of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven



    1.^ German pronunciation: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːt.hoːfən] ( listen); English: /ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn ˈbeɪt.hoʊvən/
    2.^ Beethoven was baptised on 17 December. His date of birth was often, in the past, given as 16 December, however this is not known with certainty; his family celebrated his birthday on that date, but there is no documentary evidence that his birth was actually on 16 December.
    3.^ a b c d e f Grove Online, section 1
    4.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 49
    5.^ Thorne, J. O. & Collocott, T.C., ed (1986). Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 0550180222.
    6.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 53
    7.^ This is discussed in depth in Solomon, chapter 1.
    8.^ a b Stanley, p. 7
    9.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 59
    10.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 67
    11.^ Thayer, Vol 1, pp. 71–74
    12.^ Cooper (2008), p. 15
    13.^ Cooper (2008), p. 23
    14.^ Cooper (2008), p. 24
    15.^ Cooper (2008), p. 16
    16.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 102
    17.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 104
    18.^ Thayer, Vol 1, pp. 105–109
    19.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 124
    20.^ Cooper (2008), p. 35
    21.^ Cooper (2008), p. 41
    22.^ Cooper (2008), pp. 35–41
    23.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 148
    24.^ a b Cooper (2008), p. 42
    25.^ Cooper (2008), p. 43
    26.^ Grove Online, section 3
    27.^ Cooper (2008), pp. 47,54
    28.^ Thayer, Vol 1, p. 161
    29.^ a b Cooper (2008), p. 53
    30.^ Cross (1953), p. 59
    31.^ Cooper (2008), p. 46
    32.^ a b Cooper (2008), p. 59
    33.^ Lockwood (2005), p. 144
    34.^ Cooper (2008), p. 56
    35.^ Cooper (2008), p. 82
    36.^ Cooper (2008), p. 90
    37.^ Cooper (2008), p. 66
    38.^ Cooper (2008), p. 58
    39.^ Cooper (2008), p. 97
    40.^ See Beethoven’s love letter to Josephine, March/April 1805, in Schmidt-Görg 1957, pp. 12–14, where he referred to this time.
    41.^ There were (as mentioned in Goldschmidt 1977, p. 484), over 100 love letters between the newly weds, indicating that a healthy erotic relationship was growing between the spouses. Steblin (2007, p. 155, n. 41) announced a forthcoming publication of these letters.
    42.^ Cooper (2008), p. 80
    43.^ Cooper (2008), pp. 98–103
    44.^ Cooper (2008), pp. 112–127
    45.^ Cooper (2008), pp. 112–115
    46.^ Grove Online, section 5
    47.^ Cooper (2008), p. 108
    48.^ Cooper (2008), p. 120
    49.^ White, Felix (1 April 1927). “Some Tributes to Beethoven in English Verse”. The Musical Times 68 (1010).
    50.^ Ealy, George Thomas (Spring 1994). “Of Ear Trumpets and a Resonance Plate: Early Hearing Aids and Beethoven’s Hearing Perception”. 19th-Century Music 17 (3): 262–273. doi:10.1525/ncm.1994.17.3.02a00050.
    51.^ Solomon (2001)[page needed]
    52.^ Clive, p. 239
    53.^ Cooper (2008), pp. 78–79
    54.^ Lockwood (2005), pp. 300–301
    55.^ Cooper (2008), p. 195
    56.^ Cooper (2008), p. 131
    57.^ ‘Beethoven’s Heroic Phase’, The Musical Times, CX (1969), pp. 139-41
    58.^ Cooper (2008), p. 148
    59.^ Solomon, Maynard (1990). Beethoven essays. Harvard University Press. p. 124. ISBN 9780674063792. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
    60.^ Steinberg, Michael P. (2006). Listening to reason: culture, subjectivity, and nineteenth-century music. Princeton University Press. pp. 59–60. ISBN 9780691126166. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
    61.^ Burnham, Scott G.; Steinberg, Michael P. (2000). Beethoven and his world. Princeton University Press. pp. 39–40. ISBN 9780691070735. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
    62.^ Cooper (2008), p. 150
    63.^ Cooper (2008), p. 185
    64.^ Steblin (2009).
    65.^ Cooper (2008), pp. 146,168
    66.^ Lorenz (2011).
    67.^ Brandenburg (1996), #582.
    68.^ Cooper (2008), p. 212
    69.^ Cooper (2008), p. 254
    70.^ a b On 18 December 1818, The Landrechte, the Austrian court for the nobility, handed over the whole matter of guardianship to the Vienna Magistrate, the court for commoners “It …. appears from the statement of Ludwig van Beethoven, as the accompanying copy of the court minutes of 11 December of this year shows, that he is unable to prove nobility: hence the matter of guardianship is transferred to an honorable magistrate”.
    71.^ Cooper (2008), p 260
    72.^ a b Cooper (2008), p. 317
    73.^ a b Cooper (2008), p. 318
    74.^ Morris, Edmund (2010). Beethoven: The Universal Composer. HarperCollins. p. 213. ISBN 9780060759759. Retrieved 3 August 2011.
    75.^ Winter, Robert (1994). The Beethoven quartet companion. University of California Press. p. 245. ISBN 9780520204201. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
    76.^ a b Cooper (2008), p. 349
    77.^ Mai, F.M. (1 October 2006). “Beethoven’s terminal illness and death”. J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 36 (3): 258–263. PMID 17214130.
    78.^ Meredith, William (Spring & Summer 2005). “The History of Beethoven’s Skull Fragments”. The Beethoven Journal 20 (1 & 2): 2–3. Retrieved 27 March 2009.[dead link]
    79.^ Jahn, George (28 August 2007). “Pathologist: Doctor Killed Beethoven”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
    80.^ Eisinger, Josef (1 January 2008). “The lead in Beethoven’s hair”. Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry 90: 1–5.
    81.^ Lorenz, Michael (Winter 2007). “Commentary on Wawruch’s Report: Biographies of Andreas Wawruch and Johann Seibert, Schindler’s Responses to Wawruch’s Report, and Beethoven’s Medical Condition and Alcohol Consumption”. The Beethoven Journal (San Jose: The Ira Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies) 22 (2): 92–100.
    82.^ Beethoven bipolar? http://www.gazette.uottawa.ca/article_e_1529.html
    83.^ Cold Case in Vienna: Who Killed Beethoven? — CBS News
    84.^ a b c d e Grove Online
    85.^ Ludwig van Beethoven — Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon
    86.^ “Festival de Cannes: Eroica”. festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
    87.^ Eroica at the Internet Movie Database
    88.^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142825/
    89.^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0561312/
    90.^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142825/alternateversions
    91.^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110116/
    92.^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110116/locations
    93.^ Eroica at the Internet Movie Database
    94.^ Beethoven at the Internet Movie Database
    95.^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424908/plotsummary
    96.^ Alessandra Comini, The Changing Image of Beethoven: A Study in Mythmaking

    Cited sources
    Brandenburg, Sieghard (ed.): Ludwig van Beethoven: Briefwechsel. Gesamtausgabe. 8 vols. Munich: Henle 1996.
    Clive, Peter (2001). Beethoven and His World: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-816672-9.
    Cooper, Barry (2008). Beethoven. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 9780195313314.
    Cross, Milton; Ewen, David (1953). The Milton Cross New Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday. ISBN 0385036353. OCLC 17791083.
    Kerman, Joseph; Tyson, Alan; Burnham, Scott G. “Ludvig van Beethoven”, Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed 29 November 2006), grovemusic.com (subscription access).
    Landon, H C Robbins; Göllerich; August (1970). Beethoven: a documentary study. Macmillan. ISBN 0025678302. OCLC 87180.
    Lockwood, Lewis (2005). Beethoven: The Music And The Life. W. W. Norton. ISBN 9780393326383.
    Lorenz, Michael: “Die ‘Enttarnte Elise’. Elisabeth Röckels kurze Karriere als Beethovens ‘Elise’”. Bonner Beethoven-Studien 9, 2011, pp. 169–190 [1].
    Sachs, Harvey, The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824, London, Faber, 2010. ISBN 978-0-571-22145-5.
    Solomon, Maynard (2001). Beethoven (2nd revised ed.). New York: Schirmer Books. ISBN 0-8256-7268-6.
    Stanley, Glenn (ed) (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-58074-9.
    Steblin, Rita: “‘A dear, enchanting girl who loves me and whom I love’: New Facts about Beethoven’s Beloved Piano Pupil Julie Guicciardi”. Bonner Beethoven-Studien 8 (2009), pp. 89–152.
    Thayer, A. W.; Krehbiel, Henry Edward (ed, trans); Deiters, Hermann; Riemann, Hugo (1921). The Life of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Vol 1. The Beethoven Association
    iam going to cry

  36. bad boood albate man ehsas nadaram

  37. IT’S A GREAT DREAM ارشیا
    this song is so light and really helps me to realax i love it

  38. i am going to cry
    this song is so beautiful
    Beethoven is my hero!!!!! (other than Mozart). Beethoven puts me at ease, and calms me I love to listen to his music. Anyone who cant listen to Beethoven and appreacite it is crazy, it’s amazing how a deaf man could compose such master pieces
    Played with a romantic melody in the right hand and supported by arpeggios in the left hand, Für Elise is one of Beethoven’s most recognizable pieces. However, the score was not published until 1867, 40 years after Beethoven’s death.
    Pianist and musicologist Luca Chiantore argues that Beethoven might not have been the person who shaped the piece as we know it today. Chiantore states that the original signed manuscript may even have never existed, even though musicologist Barry believes that one of the two surviving outlines closely resembles the published version of Fur Elise

  39. this website is gooooooooooooooooooood veryyyyyyyyyyyyyy god

  40. i lovo this website
    tankio for song

  41. yes its beutiful (rain)

  42. I HATE THIS PIECE ! it’s stupid ; too much notes to read ; :)

    • aw you serious ? this this is one of the best music out ! :)

    • Yukiko Hikari Yoshida says:

      What the heck are you people say? @_@ Für Elise was composed my BEETHOVEN o____O END OF DISCUSSION!!! I have been playing the piano for nearly ten years now ^_^ And I am very proud and honoured to say that it was this very song (Für Elise) that inspired me to play this long :DDD

  43. Sthepanie says:

    Es preciosa , esta llena de sentimiento y cada ves que la escucho me alegro.


    hermoso ** **

  45. Sayak Mitter says:

    terrific.the most divine music ever heard

  46. this song is so beautiful!
    i am going to cry ;>

  47. Jefferson says:

    Estas melodías nunca deben ser olvidadas por el mundo, ya que son las bases de lo que hoy conocemos como géneros musicales.
    No se olviden del pasado, ya que en el pasado se hallan respuestas que mejorarán nuestras vidas.

    Att: El Inquisidor Hereje

  48. This song is AWESOME!!! Im learning this song to play at my recital and im so scared!! Ive only had 2 yrs of piano lessons and im playing this……im Nervous!!! THis piece was written by Beethoven NOT MOZART!!! I Do love both musicians though!! Classical piano music is the BEST!!! ARRIVA LA MUSICA CLASSICA!!


  50. wow i love all of beethovens music its so amazing and beutifule

  51. i wan to kow if it a girl or a boy coz there is a man on the pic but i thought it we
    as a boy

  52. wow dude this song is s00 chill its like every time i listen to i i get toasted

  53. this is such a classic

  54. I love this song its such a classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. And I’ve read that Elise was a little girl, the daughter of a friend.

    So many stories.

    Jorgos, this is a lovely site. Thank you.

  56. giuliana says:

    hola quisiera poder tener esta musica para mi bebe es que le agrada mucho

  57. Maria(Philippines) says:

    i’ve read that it was a piece about a woman he pursued when he was in his 40′s.
    I listen to this, everyday, im on my first trimester, i make it as a prenatal stimulation.

  58. Madeline says:

    I can play this whole song on the piano.I’m on level 9.(I’m only 10 years old.)

    • WOW THATS SO AWESOME!! I Wished i had learned to play the piano at that age but i didnt until now which its kinda hard to learn although im only 17

  59. out of Beethoven’s music Fur Elise is my fadorite it remineds me of my childhood…………………. :o ;) :)

  60. adoro esta mùsica…… me trae recuerdos tan bonitos es sublime e inmortal

  61. es hermosa esta musica, es lo maximo , un aporte grandioso a lo es la cultura lirica

  62. this is so awsome .
    what a nice and romantic ,and calming song .
    i use it to study and do homework.In class my teacher puts it on .It makes me concentrate really well !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Amazing : )

    I love mary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @@@@@@

  63. This is a really nice song ,I love it so much.
    It reminds me of God`s presence in my life .
    I love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. It is For Elise, his wife who had died at a young age.

  65. It is For Elise, his wife who had died.At least, I believe I was taught this at a young age while taken instruction.

  66. hummm…. i Always wonder why this wonderful song is called “fur Elise”. Beacause i maid research and apperently noyone knows who Elise was… People say that most likely that the song is supostue be “fur Therese”, beacause in 1810 Ludwing proposed to Therese a student of his and she declined him.. Its a mystery !!

  67. Grave Romeo says:

    This song has always been amazing to me. This was actually the reason i started playing piano. The song is so beautiful and reminds me of my good times.

  68. I can play this entire song! I love it! Classical music has to be my favorite type of piano music.

  69. this song is named after my sister

  70. felicitaciones por la musica de fondo de beethoven para elisa el gran amor de genio austro aleman

  71. I’m not claiming to know a lot about music, I’ve heard many versions of it and just love the song but isn’t this version played a bit too fast?

  72. JUAN DELGADO M says:

    palabras no me faltan para decir lo maravilloso q es sobre todo como lo espresa en sus tocadas magnificas q me lleva a sentir sensaciones extrañas como nostalgia melancolia no tengo mas palabras para decir

  73. Agustina y mi mejor amiga Gabi says:

    me encanta el tema para elisa

  74. amo la para elisa

  75. me fascina esta sonata es fantanstico escuchar a este grande me inspira mucho

  76. ever millton says:

    esta cancion me inspira,, me fascina creo que fue uno de los pianistas mas grandes del mundo

  77. I love this man (Beethoven) and I love all his music

  78. HAHAHA! i’m sorry, at that noisy, cheerful part, i just have to laugh. its a cheery and, for some reason, funny song. opposite of the moonlight sonata, which i love. i’m not all that into this type of music, but i love moonlight.

  79. Es extraordinaria la música de Bethoven. En especial esta sonata.Es inigualable

  80. your mums gay says:

    i hate him

  81. He his one of the greatest pianist I have ever known.For your information,Beethoven is a left handed and became deaf when he was 4 years old.

  82. VERA AZEVEDO says:


  83. i heard that i was reall called fur thereese and he liked a girl and for her her birthday he wrote her this song i think the song is beatiful


  85. Again, this execution is absolutely remarkable. It is as if the girl Elise materialises before you.

  86. My favourite piece of all time

  87. Me encanta esta melodía , creo que la música clásica es la mejor del mundo, es la verdadera música

  88. I loved this song , is beautiful

  89. I’m getting married next year and was wondering about having this song for my processional. Please give me your opinions

  90. I can play this, Beethoven wrote this from his own love story. A woman named Theirese who, I think, rejected him so that is why it sounds like…

  91. SHOSHANA says:

    this song is so chillll…
    beethoven is the ultimate calmer

  92. MANUPERU says:


  93. LILLIAN SIMAS says:

    A música de Beethoven, é maravilhosa, me faz relaxar e esquecer todos os problemas…

  94. Its hard to imagine Beethoven composing deaf let alone battling for a kid at the same time. He wanted to be with his nephue (if its spelled wrong sorry) I love this sone it pust me at ease.

  95. Fur Elise has a story too. Although Beethoven is a talented man, he did not lead a happy life. He was unable to be with the women he loved, for he had a bad temper.Beethoven once loved a girl, but was unable to be with her. He composed a song meant for her. And when he died, someoone found the piece of music. Because of his messy handwriting, people did not completely know the title of this lovely song. They called it ‘Fur’ means for, and ‘Elise’ known to be read as in Beethoven`s messy writing.

  96. hola,buenas noches ,queria mensionar que es un muy hermoso tema para ecuchar durante las vacaciones en la siesta,saludos a todos y hasta pronto

  97. Scott Herber says:


  98. Thank you. When it gets really hectic, I treat myself to this and Moonlight Sonata and once again all is well with the world. I really appreciate you making it available and you execute so exquisitely.

  99. Charlotte says:

    This song is beautiful. I love listening to in. I learned the smaller version (ment for kids to learn) on the piano. I have not touched a piano in 6 years, but my fingers still do the movements on my desk.

  100. my favorite song

  101. this song is so light and really helps me to realax i love it.

  102. RELAXXX!!!

  103. Es muy bonita la musica clasica es como si te envolviera………..**********

  104. I’ve heard this song a thousand times and havent’t really listened until now. I love this-it’s a classic! beethoven was a genius!

  105. me encanta la musica dde beethoven

  106. Jorgos u are 1 of the best piano players ive ever heard! Ive been taking formal classes for 0.5 years, but my teacher consiters me as a 2 year player! Do you have any good tips?

  107. This song is my 2nd favorite of Beethoven’s songs! Is’t amazing how a man who becomes deaf in his twentys can compose such wonderful pieces? Its amazing! I LOVE IT! When i’m stressed out, I always listen to it to help me calm down! I play it all the time!

  108. beethoven is amazing. hes the best musician of his time because he had to deal with issues that no one else did.he didnt just have his fame cut out for him. he had to work hard, and wasnt always successful. i have a great respect for him. Beethoven he was unique and inspirational.

  109. Beethoven is my hero!!!!! (other than Mozart). Beethoven puts me at ease, and calms me I love to listen to his music. Anyone who cant listen to Beethoven and appreacite it is crazy, it’s amazing how a deaf man could compose such master pieces

  110. I am at ease with this song, it is quite lovely


  112. DID YOU KNOW ?
    Did you know that during beethovens late 20′s beethoven became deaf .during his 9th symphoney he was completely deaf he took the leg off his piano so he sould feel the vibrations coming up through the ground and into his body so he could compose his 9th symphoney using all the vibrations the piano made CLEVER !!!!!!!!!!!!sorry about some of my spelling !!

  113. Molly-
    I didn’t recall that this is also called the wedding song. That’s a very interesting tidbit of information. But no wedding that I’ve ever been to or seen has played this. I believe that it was another song that I always heard, but I can’t place my finger on it right now. But thank you for informing me. Now I know something new.

  114. You do know that this song is almost always played at weddings. In fack, it is also called the Wedding Song. If I ever get married, this would be my first dance, and I’m only a tween.

  115. Stephanie-
    You are very right. It does seem like it would be at a party scene, or perhaps as they are dining. If I do recall correctly, “Fur Elise” was played quite often during social gatherings in that time.

  116. Stephanie Eldridge says:

    This Song sounds like a behind the scences music of one of Jane Austens movies.

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