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Beethoven billed each of the two works published under Op. 27 as a "sonata quasi una fantasia," presumably a hint that he was trying to meld the formal conventions of the eighteenth century sonata with a newer, freer, more Romantic style. Many musicians consider the first of this pair, the Piano Sonata No.13 in E flat major (1800-01), to be the superior work, but the Piano Sonata No.14 in C sharp minor (1801) is by far more popular; in fact, it is one of Beethoven's most beloved works, and its first movement takes a place among the most widely and instantly recognizable music the composer ever penned. The familiar appellation "Moonlight" is not the composer's own, but the invention of German music critic Ludwig Rellstab, who compared the first movement's rippling texture to the moonlight shimmering on Lake Lucerne.
The second movement, Allegretto, is a short, delicate interlude with a syncopated tune in the treble that is interrupted by slightly darker ruminations in the bass during the central section.
This arrangement features a supplemental third violin part with an additional bass part for use with string orchestra.
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