Fiery flamenco guitar quartet plays Beethoven’s Für Elise with panache

4 March 2021, 14:20 | Updated: 4 March 2021, 14:24

Beethoven’s Für Elise, but it’s for fiery flamenco guitar quartet
Beethoven’s Für Elise, but it’s for fiery flamenco guitar quartet. Picture: 40 Fingers / Facebook

By Rosie Pentreath

You wouldn’t think Beethoven’s most popular piano piece would work transcribed into castanet-tempting, flamenco guitar greatness. But, boy it really does.

Beethoven’s Für Elise has been reimagined for flamenco guitar quartet. And it really works.

In the quick-picking hands of 40 Fingers Guitar Quartet, the popular piano piece by the legendary Romantic composer still contains the elements that make it so enduringly great – that catchy opening melody, the memorable chord progressions, and the development section that takes us on a magical journey of musical discovery, before launching us back into the familiar and friendly opening theme.

And the fiery flamenco finale is an ending worthy of any heated dance floor. Our fingers are positively itching to grab some castanets.

Für Elise feels made for it, and we think Beethoven would love it.

Read more: Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’ but it’s in a jazzy 5/4... so ‘Five Elise’ >

40 FINGERS - Für Elise (Beethoven meets Flamenco) - Official Video

What’s new is the flamenco rhythms and the light, sparkling accompaniment that stamp and swish the piece right to the heart of ancient Spain. The quartet gives it a note slide here or there, impactful articulation, and spine-tingling moments of velvety vibrato.

This isn’t the first time Beethoven’s Für Elise has fallen prey to experimental musical hands.

Like the time this legend went all “five” Elise with a jazz version. And this ensemble that placed Beethoven’s work ingeniously in the Middle East.

Or what about this one, where a YouTuber flipped the whole thing by going geeky and “inverting” every interval (gap between the notes) in the melody.

Watch more below.

Für Elise - Jazz Piano

Beethoven's 'Für Elise' in the style of jazz standard 'Take Five'

Beethoven’s "Für Elise" in a Brazilian Cuban Timba style