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Piano by Moonlight - A painting
Primary List Value: 

Ludwig van Beethoven

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Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, Moonlight

Even though this famous work by Beethoven is widely known by its nickname, the Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven himself never heard or used this name. The origin of this famous nickname can be attributed to German music critic and poet, Ludwig Rellstab. In 1832, five years after Beethoven's death, Rellstab described the effect of the first movement as moonlight reflecting on Lake Lucerne. While some critics have disagreed with Rellstab's description of the piece, within ten years of his comments this nickname was being used in both English and German publications of the sonata and has stuck with the work ever since.