Ludwig van Beethoven's Für Elise in Order of Tone

Daniel Jacoby
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A framed sheet of blank music paper. Next to it a screen. Minimalist rigour. In a perfectly photographed static shot, a tail-coated pianist takes his seat and begins to play. The notes develop a linear crescendo in which there is no very clear distinction between cadence and stridency, in a kind of progressive singsong. Although we follow the movement of the pianist’s hands and arms, the audio imposes itself on the static spectrum of the visual, making the ultimately captivating absence of acoustic harmony a kind of ridiculous challenge to the connotations of sobriety offered by the images.

What is the meaning of all this? To answer the question we need only turn to the title: Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven in Order of Pitch. It is not, then, a case of simply wrecking the tune of the famous piece, or of discrediting the rigour of the performance that is automatically associated with the culture to which the composer belongs, which would seem to be endorsed by the knowing gesture of putting the credits in German. These are side effects — touches of irony that are deployed naturally, as an added value — in the exercises in reordering the world to be found in the works produced by Daniel Jacoby between 2007 and 2009.

Álex Brahim

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Ludwig van Beethoven's Für Elise in Order of Tone
  • Direction: Daniel Jacoby
  • Production: Ajuntament de Figueres, Hangar. 2009.
  • Duration: 00:05:59
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright