Latest "Someone Else Composed It" Story: Beethoven & “Für Elise.”

Days ago, European classical music enthusiasts started tweeting that Beethoven’s authorship of Für Elise was being questioned in the European media. Italian musicologist Luca Chiantore is going public with the theory that Ludwig Nohl realized the piece from a sketch.

Alex Ross has a witty summary of the scoop, in which he manages to get in a few digs on “the ringtone classic” and link to some choice YouTube parodies. He urges caution lest the entire blogosphere rush to crown the new composer based on apparently easily debunked news summaries:

One assumes that Chiantore’s study is more nuanced than news accounts make out. In any case, it’s a little early to start talking about Ludwig Nohl’s ‘Für Elise.’

Speaking of witty, this piano recital commercial has fun with the piece’s place in society. (“Fancy having to live with ‘Für Elise’ for eight years,” quips Jessica Duchen on the reported duration of Chiantore’s research project.)

And speaking of Alex Ross, it seems he’s decided to open a new classical music blog at the New Yorker where he is a music critic. Bonnie (who makes her career in website stuff, blogging and something having to do with search engines) says this is bold move, considering the popularity of The Rest Is Noise, which will be deemphasized. Congratulations, Alex.

Related: Bonnie discussed last year’s rush to credit Anna Magdelena Bach with authorship of the Bach Cello Suites.