Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Elegiac Song in memory of Eleonore Pasqualati, the wife of his long-standing friend and patron Johann Baptist Freiherr von Pasqualati zu Osterberg, who died young. The short choral piece, alternating between quiet pain and drama and with a discreet string accompaniment, was published for the first time in 1826. In addition to the vocal and string parts, there is a piano part which can be used as an alternative to the strings. This piano part is used as the basis of the Carus vocal score. A performance with just chorus and piano is therefore possible – although not the original version, this was one which was widespread from the beginning.