Classical Era: Piano Sonata No. 14

Piano Sonata No. 14 was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven and is more commonly known as Moonlight Sonata. It is rumored that Beethoven wrote and dedicated this piece for Countess Giulietta Guicciardi with whom he had been in love with. He was not able to marry her because of her father’s disapproval which was most likely connected to his common lineage. Beethoven was a free lance composer and he was the first one to remain one. He wrote and performed for the public which helped broaden who was able to acquire his music. In that time there was a demand for more music accessible to the middle class that was not just just church hymns. However he did have patrons who he wrote and performed for to help his financial situation. Beethoven also taught music lessons to children of the Court.
I choose this piece because I remember learning to play it for my own piano teacher. Listening to the piece makes me feel like I am feeling exactly what Beethoven felt at the time of writing it. It has a beautiful melody but beneath it a dark tone that gives me the feeling he put a lot of emotion into composing this piece. It is a hard song to play without putting your own emotion into it.


~ by Rebekah Telfer on March 6, 2010.

5 Responses to “Classical Era: Piano Sonata No. 14”

  1. Hi,

    This is a gorgeous piece of music. I appreciated the background behind the piece, rumor or not, it contributes to how I understand the music. I like that you picked this piece to study because you related to it and I thought it was interesting that you are of the opinion that emotion is a necessary part of a good performance. I agree, sincerity in art gives it a human element; it makes it better.

    You write that Beethoven was the first free-lance composer. This is a fairly modern word (19th century) applied to an ancient profession. What is your definition of free-lancer, and what makes Beethoven the first compared to countless other musicians who worked for more than one patron throughout their career?


  2. I thought you covered the history of the piece very well. I noticed you didn’t mention when he created the song, was it hard to find? I really liked what you said about the emotion of the song, this song really does seem to have depth to it and that makes it more interesting for me.

  3. Hey just wanted to let you know im doing video blogs! Please come see my blog and leave me any comment! Good or bad, any input is good input, thanks! -Dale

  4. Lisbet- My understanding of free-lancer is someone who’s main income is from the public. That is he isn’t under contract or commissioned by one person for his main income. Beethoven’s main income was his publications and public performances. But on the side he would perform for patrons and teach students music. While other composers may have had more than one patron their main income was from commissioned work. Hope that helps 🙂

    Clark- I did have a lot of trouble finding the exact date he wrote it. Somewhere between 1800-02 is the most likely case.

    Thanks for the comments,

  5. Thank you for your very informative blog, in addition to your choice of music. I also appreciate your own testimonial as it gives it an appeal which it did not have for me before. I find this piece to be very dark and moody feeling which is perhaps the intent. I like the preciseness of the music but it still leaves me with an unsettling feeling. I appreciate your use of YouTube but I would have liked to see the date it was written in your introduction to the piece as well. However, you did present a good overview and history of the composer and the his work.

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