Wilhelm Kempff plays Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata mvt. 1
The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor "Quasi una fantasia", op. 27, No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata (Mondscheinsonate in German), was completed in 1801. It is dedicated to his pupil, 17-year-old Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, with whom Beethoven was, or had been, in love. It is one of Beethoven's most popular sonatas.
The first movement, in C minor, is written in an approximate truncated sonata form. The movement opens with an octave in the left hand and a triplet figuration in the right. A melody that Hector Berlioz called a "lamentation", mostly by the right hand, is played against an accompanying ostinato triplet rhythm, simultaneously played by the right hand. The movement is played pianissimo or "very quietly", and the loudest it gets is mezzo forte or "moderately loud".
The adagio sostenuto has made a powerful impression on many listeners; for instance, Berlioz said of it that it "is one of those poems that human language does not know how to qualify." The work was very popular in Beethoven's day, to the point of exasperating the composer himself, who remarked to Carl Czerny, "Surely I've written better things."
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