Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.14, “Moonlight Sonata” - a testament.
(Painting by Hermann Junker of Ludwig van Beethoven composing at a piano)
"We all fell victims of the clever marketing ploy by Beethoven’s publisher, didn’t we?
Ever since this Sonata was published with this title, we keep imagining something very romantic: a moonlit landscape, perhaps a lake with gentle waves reflecting the moon, a boat , lovers… If we stop and think for a moment - where is the melody here and what is it? The answer is simple enough. It is a funeral march; don’t let those lulling triplets dissuade you. It is a funeral march. Just a short time before Beethoven wrote a letter addressed to his brothers, friends. In that letter he admitted that he had lost his hearing and the prognosis was dismal. He called the letter a “testament”, it can also be called a suicide note. He never sent out the letter but he poured his feeling out in his music.”
- Valentina Lisitsa