Sonata Quasi una Fantasia, Opus 27 No.2 in C-sharp minor “Moonlight Sonata”. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Sonata Quasi una Fantasia, Opus 27 No.2 in C-sharp minor is one of the best known works of Beethoven.

Completed in 1801, it was popularly known as the “Moonlight” sonata, but it wasn’t Beethoven who gave this name.  Five years after Beethoven’s death, when the music critic Ludwig Rellstab talked about his impressions of the first movement of this sonata, he said that it suggested the reflection of the moon on the surface of Lake Lucerne.  The publishers used the name in subsequent publications, and that is how the name became so popular. But there can not be a more inappropriate name than “Moonlight” to describe the second and third parts of this Sonata.

The sonata has three movements:

  1. Adagio Sostenuto. It’s a contemplative, intimate movement.
  2. Allegretto – Trio.  It’s a dance, a delicate, playful movement.
  3. Presto agitato. The final is a fast, stormy and energetic movement.

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