Moonlight Sonata

Album: Night of Romance (1802)
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Songfacts®:

  • It is thought that this piano piece was inspired by Beethoven's love for his 17-year-old pupil, the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, to whom the work is dedicated. Beethoven considered the sonata to be inferior to many of his other works for piano, its popularity exasperated the composer, who remarked to Carl Czerny, "Surely I've written better things."
  • The sonata's nickname came from a Berlin critic named Ludwig Rellstab, who in 1832 described the famous first movement as like "a boat passing the wild scenery of Lake Lucerne in the moonlight." Otherwise it would be called the slightly less romantic "Piano Sonata in C Minor op 27 no 2." Beethoven himself subtitled the work "Sonata quasi una fantasia" (Sonata in the style of a fantasia).
  • The Hungarian composer Franz Liszt's preference was for the middle of the three movements, calling it, "A flower between two abysses."
  • "Moonlight Sonata" has been used in and inspired a number of popular songs. John Lennon got the idea for the Beatles track "Because," when he heard Yoko Ono playing "Moonlight Sonata" on the piano. He asked her to play it backwards, and came up with "Because" based on what he heard. Also "Stabbed," by the Scottish band Glasvegas is set against the piano of "Moonlight Sonata."

Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 31st 1969, "Moonlight Sonata" by Henry Mancini & his Orchestra entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #91, it stayed on the chart for four weeks, peaking at #87...
    It reached #15 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    Earlier in 1969 his "Love Theme from 'Romeo & Juliet'" peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} on June 22nd, 1969...
    "Romeo & Juliet" prevented two songs from reaching #1; the 1st week it was "Bad Moon Rising" by CCR at #2 and the 2nd week is was "Spinning Wheel" by BS&T in the runner-up spot, and neither ever did reach the top spot...
    R.I.P. Enrico Nicola 'Henry' Mancini {1924 - 1994}.
  • Rich from Bellevue, WaEverybody knows the famous first movement, but for me the crowning glory of the work is the *last* movement. It is this absolutely amazing, fiery, passionate storm, which practically strains the piano to the breaking point (how much more so on the early pianos that Beethoven had!). A must-hear, it is absolutely kick-ass!
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI think this is the most beautiful piece of music Beethoven has ever written. This is beautiful. So much emotion and thought while listening to this. Amazing:)
  • Oldpink from Farmland, InIncredibly moving, notwithstanding Beethoven's own opinion of this piece.
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