On December 16th, 1770, Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn. His father was a court musician and tenor as well as a forceful alcoholic. Beethoven's father recognized his son's amazing abilities and forced young Ludwig into the musical world. At 14, this child prodigy became a paid member of the Bonn court orchestra. He played the viola and the harpsichord. In 1792, he was given a grant from the electoral prince of Bonn to travel to Vienna. In Vienna, Haydn, Salieri, and Forster instructed him in music composition and theory. In 1798, his symptoms of deafness worsened and from 1819 on, he was having such a hard time, he had trouble making himself understood. In 1809, three members of the Viennese nobility promised him an annual pension to stay in Vienna. Before Beethoven died in 1827, he wrote many symphonies and sonatas.
I chose to write about Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14, the Moonlight Sonata, or the Sonata quasi una fantasia. This sonata was composed in 1801, the 14th of Beethoven's 32 sonatas. Reportedly Beethoven once said "Surely I've written better things," in response to the popularity of the sonata. The first movement of this sonata, played adagio sostenuto, is fairly widely known and is taught often in piano lessons. In its entirety, the Moonlight Sonata is not what I would call his most famous work especially when grouped in with his Symphonies and other compositions. However, there is just something about this sonata that is very stirring. .
In contrast to many of Beethoven's other works, in which Ludwig strays from the traditional compositional forms, in the Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven only makes minor changes to the traditional sonata form. In traditional sonata form, there are three movements, the Exposition, the Development and the Recapitulation. The exposition begins in the dominant key and progresses through two themes by way of a bridge into the tonic key, and then ends with a closing also in the dominant key.