Moonlight Sonata , byname of Piano Sonata No. The piece was completed in , published the following year, and premiered by the composer himself, whose hearing was still adequate but already deteriorating at the time. Beethoven dedicated the work to Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, a year-old aristocrat who was his student for a short time. The Moonlight Sonata was structurally and stylistically remarkable in its day. Most sonatas of the late 17th and early 18th centuries consisted of a reasonably animated, thematically well-defined first movement, a more-subdued second movement, and a vibrant final movement.
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Blockbuster of the century
Four years ago, I was having lunch with an editor who mentioned that Beethoven had fallen in love with one of his piano students. The editor thought it would make a good novel. Was I interested? I was intrigued, but intimidated. Now Beethoven was encouraging me to mourn, hypnotizing me with doleful, dronelike melody. Over the next two weeks, I listened to nothing but Beethoven. Soon, the titan had taken over my life. I wrestled with his music.
The Piano Sonata No. It was completed in and dedicated in to his pupil, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. The piece is one of Beethoven's most popular compositions for the piano, and it was a popular favorite even in his own day. The first edition of the score is headed Sonata quasi una fantasia , a title this work shares with its companion piece, Op. The name Moonlight Sonata comes from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab. In , five years after Beethoven's death, Rellstab likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne.