Tune of the Day: Moonlight Sonata
The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia”, Op. 27, No. 2, is popularly known as the “Moonlight” Sonata (Mondscheinsonate in German), name deriving from an 1832 description of the first movement by music critic Ludwig Rellstab, who compared it to moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne, in Switzerland. The work was completed in 1801, and rumored to be dedicated to Beethoven's pupil, 17-year-old Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, with whom Beethoven was, or had been, in love.
On the other hand, according to a popular (but apparently groundless) anecdote that circulated in the 19th century, Beethoven wrote the sonata when playing the piano for a blind girl at night. Thus the sonata was called “Moonlight”. This anecdote was particularly popular at the end of the 19th century and was a frequent topic for painters and graphic artists.
The first and best-known movement, marked Adagio sostenuto, is based on an accompanying motif in triplet rhythm that, together with an accented notes motif, creates the impression of a grave, meditative state of mind.