One of Beethoven’s most popular piano sonatas is his Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight’. There are many fine performances of this sonata on the market but we are going to recommend this bargain double CD from Warner Classics performed by Stephen Kovacevich (formerly Bishop).
This piece of solo music was premiered by the composer himself in 1802 at a time when his hearing was still adequate (but already deteriorating). Beethoven did not name the work; the nickname ‘Moonlight’ was apparently first adopted during the 1830s. This followed a review of the work in which the author compared the dreamy opening movement to a boat floating in the moonlight on Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne. Listen for yourself … and see what you think.