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#1646385 - 03/23/11 09:09 AM Fur Elise ending
N8dGr8 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia
I have a student working on Fur Elise for a recital and I was wondering if anyone here knows about the difference in the 2nd-to-last measure. Some versions have the treble in that measure as D-C-B, and some as E-C-B. The one with the D sounds a little more final, but I seem to recall reading a long time ago that this was not in the original score. I can't find anything on it now, though. Any clues? Thanks.

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#1646388 - 03/23/11 09:16 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4171
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
It's definitely meant to be E C B, - although D C B sounds perfectly fine.

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#1646390 - 03/23/11 09:17 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I have no idea about the autograph score, its probably lost. What I do know is I infinitely prefer the version with a D.

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#1646395 - 03/23/11 09:26 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: debrucey]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4171
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I have no idea about the autograph score, its probably lost. What I do know is I infinitely prefer the version with a D.


I think the D version is not considered correct because normally you would expect Beethoven to resolve the D (7th of V7) to C in the final bar (3rd of I) - especially for a final cadence. Instead of a chord, it finishes on a solemn A note, so no way to resolve the D. I agree it sounds fine, but it's not typical of the classical period.

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#1646402 - 03/23/11 09:33 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
When I play it I do resolve it to the C.

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#1646405 - 03/23/11 09:36 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: debrucey]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4171
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: debrucey
When I play it I do resolve it to the C.


Oh, ok! Then you are changing 2 notes. That's fine with me. I don't think classical music needs to be as strict as it is anyway. I don't have a problem with little changes that the performer prefers. So do you have the two A's in the bass and a C and A in the treble?

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#1646406 - 03/23/11 09:38 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
That is correct. I agree that if you're going to finish on just the As then its best to use an E instead of a D.

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#1646408 - 03/23/11 09:42 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: debrucey]
ando Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 4171
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: debrucey
That is correct. I agree that if you're going to finish on just the As then its best to use an E instead of a D.


It's funny because right throughout the piece, he does use the D version without resolving to the C. I think Beethoven just really cared that his final cadences resolved properly, that's why he made the final one with the E. You have created your own solution though.

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#1646425 - 03/23/11 10:19 AM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
It's hardly my own. There are zillions of recordings throughout the 20th century of pianists doing this.

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#1646502 - 03/23/11 12:09 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
I use D's throughout.. I never noticed that the last measure was different. :|
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1646505 - 03/23/11 12:11 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Ah now thats interesting. I only use a D right at the end.

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#1646507 - 03/23/11 12:13 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
I'll try all E's and D at the end. You try all D's and let me know what you think. :P No point discussing theory though as these guys took liberties that normal human beings wouldn't. The fur elise looks simple but it isn't all that simple a piece really. Beethoven's just playing games with us.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1646509 - 03/23/11 12:18 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
I have one edition with all Ds and another with all Es and D at the end. The version I hear most often just has D at the end.
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#1646526 - 03/23/11 12:47 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Lots of discussion over one silly note. smile

But to answer your question, I don't think there are any clues.

The piece was published 40 years after Beethoven's death, making clarification of his notoriously sloppy handwriting impossible. So sloppy, that it could have been nicknamed 'Fur Therese' for all we know (Elise was never identified).

Personally, I like the idea of "D," but don't think you'll find any raised eyebrows from the recital listeners if you use either.

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#1646529 - 03/23/11 12:55 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
I tried both. I am going to stick to playing all D's as I've been doing. I like that better (possibly because I've heard that more because I play it like that :P)
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1646549 - 03/23/11 01:31 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
N8dGr8 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Virginia
Thanks for all the input- I guess I'll just show her the possibilities and let her make a choice. I had never even seen versions with D throughout- only different endings.

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#1646570 - 03/23/11 02:17 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Check the thread in the teacher's forum. Somebody has the urtext edition and it says all D's.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1646722 - 03/23/11 06:27 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: Akira]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6649
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Akira
Lots of discussion over one silly note. smile



It's not at all one silly note. One note can change everything. What if, for example, an orchestra's librarian gets hold of a bad edition of Beethoven's Fifth, which contains a monumental error by incorporating a natural sign next to that first eflat which is part of arguably the most famous four note motif ever penned. I imagine there would be a ton of questions, yes?

You are correct, however, in that there's no way to know for sure with "Elise", because the autograph is long gone (there are sketches, though).
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1646791 - 03/23/11 08:46 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: N8dGr8]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6360
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I agree the one note can change everything, like stores said, particularly at the end... (it leaves a sort of aftertaste)
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1646797 - 03/23/11 08:51 PM Re: Fur Elise ending [Re: stores]
Akira Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/27/07
Posts: 1645
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
When you put it that way, you're right. Its doubtful the sun would rise tomorrow.

It might be helpful to connect my comment to the context of the thread.

I'll rephrase.

"For the purposes of a small (piano teacher's) recital, I don't think one silly little note, that could easily go either way, would raise any eyebrows."

Is that more palatable? smile

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