The moonlight piano sonata was one of two piano sonatas of opus 27 composed by Beethoven in 1801 and published in 1802 entitled ‘Quasi una fantasia’. The sub-title ‘Moonlight’ is derived from a criticism on the work by the poet Ludwig Rellstab who in describing the first movement, drew a picture of a small boat on the Lake of Lucerne. It is as widely played and as passionately loved as any of Beethoven’s pianoforte works. The dedication to the Countess Guicciardi, upon which so much romance has been built, has had a colder light thrown on it by the lady herself. “Beethoven,” said she, “gave me the Rondo in G, but wanting to dedicate something to the Princess Lichnowsky he took the Rondo away, and gave me the Sonata in C# minor instead.”

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Moonlight Piano Sonata Sheet Music