Comparing Notes: Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

by Alex Davydovich (MGBH)

Dedicated to his love interest – a 17-year-old Austrian countess Julietta Guicciardi (OBM), who was also briefly one of his students, the first movement of Moonlight Sonata has travelled through time and been publicly performed by each subsequent’s centuries’ most prominent players.

Although Moonlight sonata was composed in the summer of 1801, it didn’t get its name until 1832, when music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab (OBM) had this inspiration on a moon lit night on the banks of the Lucerna River. Some biographers make the connection between the unshared love the composer held for Giulietta Guicciardi and the sonorities of the first part.  Even more so, this sonata was dedicated to Giulietta, the musical theme of the first part being borrowed from a German ballad. (1)

Below are the renditions of Moonlight Sonata by some of the most renowned pianists of today.

Which one speaks to your heart?


  1. Asiya Korepanova (MGBH):


2. Valentina Lisitsa (MGBH):


3. Daniel Boarenboim (MGBH):



4. Georgii Cherkin (MGBH):


5. “Immortal Beloved” (MGBH):


5. Tiffany Poon (MGBH):


6. Anna Sutyagina (MGBH):



7. Vladimir Horowitz (MGBH):


8. Wilwelm Kempff (MGBH):


What is your favorite rendition on the famous Moonlight Sonata?

Please, leave your comments below and nominate your favorite pianist.



(1) – Retrieved on June 15th, 2018

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