quasi una fantasia … the first movement

… of course am I now going to write about Beethoven and his Piano Sonata No. 14 “Moonlight” Sonata – one of the most beautiful music pieces there is.

When I ever listen to this very sensitive and so sad piano piece fills my heart with joy,  peace and sadness – it feels like it’s going to burst – so emotional for me – don’t ask me why, don’t have any real or sensible explanations … only that there is something in this sad and softly played piano pieces that that goes straight into my heart.  Maybe it’s because the moon and I have a very special bond. Have written a post about the bond I have with the moon since I was a child, about the moon ,  and that my mum still today say that I’m filled with moonlight.

Beethoven completed it in 1801 and dedicated the following year to his pupil, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi and it is one of  Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano.

In 1832, five years after Beethoven’s death – the name “Moonlight Sonata” has its origins in remarks by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab.  He likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne. Within ten years, the name “Moonlight Sonata” (“Mondscheinsonate” in German) was being used in German – and in the early 1900 the sonata was “universally known” by that name.

Because the music is written in C-minor some has claimed the title is misleading because of it’s almost character of a funeral march.

Beethoven gave a written direction that the sustain pedal should be depressed for the entire duration of the first movement. The Italian reads: “Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordino” (“One must play this whole piece [meaning “movement”] very delicately and without dampers.”)
The modern piano has a much longer sustain time than the instruments of Beethoven’s day, so today the pianist don’t have to follow his directions. (information from wikipedia.org)

The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor “Quasi una fantasia”, Op. 27, No. 2, popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata is THE MASTERPIECE of all masterpieces and I think this piece of music touches more or less all of us – because it’s the most romantic piece of all classical music too – with it’s softness .. a solo piano and the slow movements it has.

I’m really a Mozart girl – because Mozart has written music that suits all my moods and senses … but none of his beautiful music can’t touch this.

Can’t say when I heard it for the first time – but I listen to it a couple of times weekly – so soon I need a moment of reality disappearing and calmness.

Have only seen the film about Beethoven – “Immortal Beloved” (1994) starring Gary Oldman as Beethoven – once – but I never forget the scene where she hides behind the door while he are playing the sonata with his ear to the piano – and the anger, when he finds out that she has been standing there. Poor Beethoven was deaf, it’s amazing that a person that was deaf could create music this beautiful and all his other masterpieces. His hearing gradually deteriorated in his early 20th and deteriorated more and more over the years. Every time I listen to it I see the scene in front of me.

Beethoven’s quote here – says it all … this piece strikes with fire and it brings tears to our eyes, at least mine.

“Music should strike fire from the heart of man,
and bring tears from the eyes of woman.”
Ludwig van Beethoven

Photos provided by and thanks to:


35 thoughts on “quasi una fantasia … the first movement

  1. That piece is a classic … and you hit the point about the range of emotions it has. Interesting how music can communicate different messages without words.

    Meanwhile, good to be back after last week that kept me away from my favorite bloggers.

    • Welcome back, Frank … You know you are always welcome here.

      Yes, what would our life and the world be without music – and as you said – no language barriers.

    • Terry, thank you so much … glad that I could take you on a journey that you enjoy.

      I learned to listen to classical music in a similar way – somebody took me on a journey too .. small steps at the time. And it worked.

    • Oh, I love that piece too – long time since I listen to it – truly beautiful. There is so much beautiful music .. I want to embrace it all – wish I could do it all at the same time. .

  2. Yes, dear Viveka, Moonnlight is my favurite too, and I love so much… as you, I feel same. Thank you, your amazing posts always find a special place/touches in my heart. Love, nia

  3. I heard this piece as a young girl, discovered my mother had the music and taught myself how to play it.. bar by painstaking bar because I was only in about grade 2 piano then. I loved the video.. it brought tears to my eyes. We are attending a concert on Friday and they will be playing his Symphony No. 9 in D Minor.. I can’t wait! xx

    • 9th Symphony is a massive and very powerful piece of music.
      I envy you! I’m listen to it now … had to put it one .. because of you comment.

      That scene from the film, is really the only thing I remember from the film – plus that his big love was his brother’s wife

      Enjoy your hours with Ludwig. .

  4. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written… in my young days when rock and roll was all the rage… don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it all… even over to the hard rock and head bashing… but as a kid I heard this playing at my Grand parents once and I sat quietly listening… ever since then it has still been something I will quietly sit and listen to… wonderful….

    • I totally agree .. with you. It’s the most wonderful piece every written.
      Classical music came to me in my late teens – and step by step .. and before I was 30 I could enjoy a whole opera.

  5. Pingback: The Snowbird Hawthorne | Barbara Bamber

  6. i’m a Mozart-girl too. Beethoven wrote really beautiful pieces for piano and orchestra but less for the voice. And his only opera Fideliio is not my thing…

  7. Viveka, I have never in my life – before now – heard this. Utterly, utterly beautiful. I am speechless at this. Absolute genius creativity stunning other-worldly, Heaven-sent.

    • Wow, you have nver heard the “Moonlight Sonata” – glad I could share it with you – if you click on my tag – music you will find more wonderful music. It’s utterly beautiful – and when I listen to it – I get this wonderful calm inside the whole of me. So happy that I was able to bring it to you.

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