Adieu to the Piano, Anh. 15 (mp3)
Performer: Armando Orlandi, Mark S. Zimmer
Author: Armando Orlandi
This piece was one of the greatly popular parlor pieces for the piano during much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Unfortunately, although attributed to Beethoven, it is almost certainly not actually one of his compositions. During the 19th century unscrupulous publishers would frequent attempt to improve sales of their works by slapping Beethoven's name onto them. This little waltz in F was originally published in 1838 by G. Crantz in Berlin and later by Boosey in London under the title "Beethoven's Adieu to the Piano, being his Last Composition." It was certainly not his last composition, and since it appears nowhere in the sketchbooks nor in any publication during Beethoven's lifetime, it must be viewed with a suspicious eye. Although it is impossible to identify the composer, given the Romantic harmonies he clearly belonged to a younger generation than Beethoven.
Nonetheless, the composition still enjoys a good deal of popularity. In 2002, the Japanese cult film Battle Royale II prominently featured the work in both piano and orchestrated versions. An mp3 of the piano version as performed in the film can be heard at The Battle Royale website.. According to Mike Jonas, webmaster of that site, "In BRII, Shiori, a major character and the daughter of Kitano (the teacher from the first BR), studied piano when she was younger. "Farewell" is heard in the background in an early scene that shows Shiori alone in her room signing up for the BRII program. Later on, during a lull in the action, Shiori stumbles upon a derelict piano and plays the piece, which leads into an important flashback to a conversation between her and her father; the song makes a final appearance at a crucial moment at the end of the film."