Monday, January 10, 2011

Moonlight Sonata

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata

This haunting splendor by Ludwig van Beethoven was originally called "Quasi una fantasia," meaning, in Italian, "almost a fantasy (Green, 2011)." It has been a classical favorite for centuries and may be one of the most recognized sonatas of Beethoven’s collection of classical masterpieces and with good reason. It is truly enchanting if not a touch eerie. In 1859, German music critic, Ludwig Rellstab wrote that the introduction reminded him of reflected moonlight in the face of Lake Lucerne (Green, 2011). He described the undulating notes as a boat travelling on Lake Lucerne beneath the full moon in the night sky ("Music- Classical..." 2008).

When I listen to the melodious, wandering scales of the piano, I can see the glittering black lake in my mind’s eye, stunning reflections of albino moon light shimmering amidst the darkness. Over the ebony lake, the celestial orb that is the full moon illuminates the night with a silvery glow. The picture is clear as day to me as the melody plays.

Perhaps that is why Rellstab’s appropriate nickname became infamous and the average person would not know which composer you were referring to if you mentioned "Quasi una fantasia." There is something elegant and bewitching about a luminous night sky, so much so that it inspires every kind of artist and art admirer.


Green, A. (2011) Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. web.

"Music - Classical & Opera - Lutchmayer on Ludwig;
How to truly appreciate Beethoven's 'Moonlight' Sonata" (2008) Time Out Group. Web. LexisNexis.

Beethovenslady via (2006). Moonlight Sonata. Web.