Hyperion Records

Piano Sonata in C sharp minor 'Moonlight', Op 27 No 2
composer
1801; published in March 1802; No 14; Beethoven's subtitle is 'quasi una Fantasia'; the nickname 'Moonlight' comes from Ludwig Rellstab's description of the opening movement; dedicated to Countess Giulietta Guicciardi

Recordings
'Beethoven: Alessio Bax plays Beethoven' (SIGCD397)
Beethoven: Alessio Bax plays Beethoven
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £10.50 SIGCD397  Download only NEW   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Hyperion monthly sampler – October 2014' (HYP201410)
Hyperion monthly sampler – October 2014
HYP201410  Download-only monthly sampler 29 September 2014 Release  
'Beethoven: Piano Sonatas' (CDA67662)
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas
'Beethoven: Piano Sonatas' (CKD244)
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD244  Download only  
'Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3' (CDA67797)
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3
'Harold Bauer – The complete recordings' (APR7302)
Harold Bauer – The complete recordings
MP3 £13.99FLAC £13.99ALAC £13.99 APR7302  Download only  
'In the Night' (CDA67996)
In the Night
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00 CDA67996  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Paderewski – His final recordings' (APR5636)
Paderewski – His final recordings
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5636  Download only  
'Bowen: The complete works for viola & piano' (CDA67651/2)
Bowen: The complete works for viola & piano
Details
Movement 1: Adagio sostenuto
Track 5 on SIGCD397 [5'04] Download only NEW
Track 15 on HYP201410 [5'04] Download-only monthly sampler 29 September 2014 Release
Track 3 on APR5636 [5'31] Download only
Track 8 on APR7302 CD1 [4'53] Download only
arranger
viola obbligato; 57 bars survive; remaining 20-odd completed and edited by Lawrence Power

Track 6 on CDA67651/2 CD1 [5'40] 2CDs
Track 1 on CDA67662 [6'01]
Track 2 on CDA67996 [5'08]
Track 4 on CKD244 [6'41] Download only
Movement 2: Allegretto
Movement 3: Presto agitato

Piano Sonata in C sharp minor 'Moonlight', Op 27 No 2
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If the title of the Op 13 Sonata at least has some semblance of authenticity, the same cannot be said of the nickname that has become attached to the second of the pair of sonatas Op 27. It was the poet and music critic Ludwig Rellstab who described its famous opening movement as evoking ‘a boat, visiting, by moonlight, the primitive landscapes of Lake Lucerne’. Curiously enough, to Beethoven’s pupil Carl Czerny, writing before Rellstab had penned his phrase, the sonata’s opening movement also suggested a nocturnal landscape. The piece, said Czerny, was ‘a night scene, in which the plaintive voice of a spirit is heard far in the distance’.

The Op 27 sonatas were issued in 1801, both of them with the sub-heading of ‘quasi una Fantasia’—a qualification indicating the freedom with which Beethoven was treating the traditional sonata design. The ‘Moonlight’ Sonata’s famous opening movement bears the direction: Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordino (‘This entire piece must be played with the utmost delicacy, and without dampers’). ‘Senza sordino’ was Beethoven’s habitual marking at this stage of his career for the use of the sustaining pedal, and although on a modern piano his instruction needs to be treated with some caution, a certain degree of harmonic blurring is implied in order to convey the music’s unbroken atmosphere of plaintive mystery. Beethoven was to exploit similar overlapping pedal effects in the rondo theme of the ‘Waldstein’ Sonata.

As he was to do the following year in his ‘Tempest’ Sonata Op 31 No 2, Beethoven maintains the darkness of the minor mode throughout the two outer movements, while writing the middle movement entirely in the major. (‘A flower between two abysses’ was Liszt’s evocative description of the minuet-like second movement of Op 27 No 2.) The finale is an unrelentingly agitated piece whose coda, with its ‘strummed’ diminished-seventh chords sweeping up the keyboard, reaches new heights of turbulence. Not until the ‘Appassionata’ Op 57 did Beethoven write another finale for piano of comparable dramatic intensity.

from notes by Misha Donat © 2010

Track-specific metadata
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Details for APR5636 track 3
Adagio sostenuto
Artists
ISRC
GB-SAM-09-63603
Duration
5'31
Recording date
30 January 1937
Recording venue
HMV, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
  1. Paderewski – His final recordings (APR5636)
    Disc 1 Track 3
    Release date: September 2009
    Download only
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