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Saturday, January 22, 2005

old von at his adagio sostenuto best

It had been a wonderful evening and what I needed now, to give it the perfect ending, was a little of the Ludwig Von.
-- Alex de Large

Ludwig van Beethoven's opus 27 no. 2 is the Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia" (Italian: Like a fantasy), popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata.

Beethoven wrote this sonata in 1801 and dedicated it to the 17-year-old Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, with whom he was (or, according to some accounts, had been) in love. In 1832, several years after Beethoven's death, the poet Ludwig Rellstab compared the music to moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne. Since then, it has been known as the Moonlight Sonata.

The Sonata has three movements:

i Adagio sostenuto (attacca)
ii Allegretto and
iii Presto agitato

The first movement, written in a kind of truncated sonata form, is the most well known. Its powerful, haunting and quiet melody was at first disturbing to audiences. However, Beethoven later complained of its popularity, writing "Surely I've written better things."

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