Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor (Moonlight Sonata) Op. 27 No. 2 - III. Presto Ludwig van Beethoven

Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor (Moonlight Sonata) VBR MP3 Format 15.1 mb, Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor (Moonlight Sonata) OGG format 2.0 mb which is a free, open standard container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation. The OGG format is unrestricted by software patents and is designed to provide for efficient streaming and manipulation of high quality digital multimedia.

Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor Moonlight, Op. 27 No. 2 - III. Presto Ludwig van Beethoven.

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.

There is probably no composition for the piano of any real merit, by any writer, which is so universally known, at least by name, as this sonata: Every one has heard of it, read about it, and most persons are more or less familiar with the music, or at any rate with portions of it, especially the first movement, which is, technically, easy enough to be executed, in the literal sense, with the greatest facility by every school-girl.

According to strict requirements of the law of form it is, in reality, not a sonata at all, but a free fantasia, in three detached movements, of a very pronounced but widely diverse emotional character. There has been considerable questioning on the part of the public, and much discussion among musicians, as to the origin of its name, its relevancy to the music, and the true artistic significance of the work:

There is little, if any, suggestion of moonlight, or the mood usually associated with a moonlight scene, in any of the movements; but there are several more or less credited traditions concerning it afloat, legitimatizing the title and explaining its origin. Of these, the one that seems to the present writer most fully authenticated and best sustained by the content of the compositions as a whole is the following. It is given, not as a verified fact, but as a suggestive possibility, a legendary background in keeping with the work.

It is a well-known matter of history that, during his early struggles for existence in Vienna, while experiencing the inevitable period of probation, well named the "starvation epoch," common to the lot of every creative artist, and the equally inevitable heritage of great genius, born fifty years in advance of its time,—lack of appreciation and scathing abuse from the self-constituted, self-satisfied foes of all progressive art, called critics,—Beethoven had the additional misfortune to fall deeply, but hopelessly, in love with a beautiful and brilliantly accomplished, though shallow, young heiress, of noble birth and lofty social position, Julie Guicciardi by name, who was, for a short time, one of his pupils. She is said to have returned his affection, but the union was, of course, under the then prevailing conditions, utterly impossible; and even if it could have taken place, would doubtless have proved most incompatible and uncongenial. She was a countess, accustomed to luxury and splendor; he an obscure musician fighting for the bare necessities of life, hardly higher in the social scale than her father's valet and not so well paid. It was absurd; and blind Love had blundered once again in his marksmanship. Or was it an intentional, cruel shaft from the tricky little god? In any case, Beethoven was deeply smitten; and this unlucky passion darkened and saddened his life for many years, and is accountable for much of the somber tone which we find in his compositions of that period.

So much is fact. The story goes that one evening, when wandering in the outskirts of the city, on one of those long, solitary walks, which were his only relaxation, he chanced to pass an elegant suburban villa in which a gay social gathering was in progress. Some one was playing one of his recent compositions as he went by—a rare occurrence in those days. His attention was attracted and, half unconsciously, he stopped to listen—stopped, as luck would have it, in a full flood of moonlight, was recognized from within, and a laughing company of the guests, Julie among them, sallied out, surrounded and captured him, and fairly compelled him to come in and play for them. They insisted that he should improvise and should take for his theme the moonlight which had been the cause of his capture and their unexpected pleasure. The usually reticent, intractable, not to say morose, Beethoven at last consented—under who shall say what subtle spell of Julie's voice and eyes?—and seated himself at the piano.

But those who are at all familiar with his music know that Beethoven was, except in a few rare instances, an emotional, not a realistic writer; a subjective, not an objective artist; reproducing not the scenes and circumstances of his environment or fancied situations, but the emotional impressions which they produced upon his own inner being, colored by his own personality and the mental conditions of the moment, often just the reverse of what might naturally have been expected. What he most keenly felt on this particular occasion was not the soft splendor of the summer night, or the opulent luxury and careless, superficial gaiety about him, but the bitter and cutting contrast which they afforded to his own struggling, sorrow-darkened, care-laden existence, full of disappointments and humiliations, of petty, sordid, yet unavoidable anxieties, with those twin vultures ever at his heart—a hopeless love, an unappreciated genius. The result was moonlight music in which no gleam of moonlight was reflected; only its somber shadow lying heavily and depressingly upon the stream of his emotions, which poured themselves out through the harmonies of this composition with an unconscious power and truth and a pathetic grandeur which have justly made it world-famous.

The first movement expresses unmingled sadness, but without any weakness of vain complaint; a calm, candid, but hopeless recognition of the inevitable:

The second seems to be an attempt at a lighter, more cheerful strain, a fleeting recollection of his ostensible theme; but it is only partially successful and very brief, and is followed by a reaction into r mood far more intense and darkly fierce than the first;

The last movement is full of indignant protest, of passionate rebellion, with occasional bursts of fiery defiance: In it we see the strong soul, surging like the waves of a mighty sea against the rocky borders of fate, striving desperately to break through or over them, and returning again and again to the fruitless attempt, with a courage only equaled by its futility. It is the Titan Beethoven battling with the gods of destiny.

It is, of course, unlikely, even impossible, that this improvisation,—the tradition being true,—was precisely the music of the Moonlight Sonata in its present form. It could but furnish the themes, outlines, and moods of the various movements, subsequently developed into the composition so widely known and admired.

Composition Licence: This MP3 (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case 1801) are now in the public domain.

This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris), in this case Ludwig von Beethoven (17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827), and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31st of that year.

Performance Licence: This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Paul Pitman at

Public domain works are not protected by U.S. copyright law and are free to be used, copied, performed and distributed by anyone for any purpose, even if sold for profit.

This audio is part of the collection: Community Audio
Artist/Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven / Paul Pitman
Keywords: Beethoven; Moonlight Sonata
Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.0


No comments:

Post a Comment