I’ve been on a whole Beethoven kick recently. I’ve been listening to his violin concerto (which was featured on Wednesday Music once) and some of his piano concertos, too. (Number 5 was also featured on Wednesday Music). This week’s piece is another Beethoven piece, one that a lot of people know about: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2, which is popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata. Here’s a little bit about it.
- Beethoven wrote this piece in 1801 and even then, it was a very popular work.
- It was nicknamed the Moonlight Sonata by a German music critic after Beethoven’s death. I’ve noticed there seems to be a trend of pieces getting their nicknames after the composer’s death—or at least not from the composers themselves.
- Like many classical sonatas, this one has three movements, two fast and one slow. Unlike many, it doesn’t follow the traditional order for these movements. Most sonatas have the form of fast-slow-[fast]-fast (sometimes there are four movements, hence the optional fast movement in brackets). The Moonlight Sonata has a slow-fast-fast structure, which is atypical.
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