Listening to Music: Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

Lately I’ve been thinking of the biblical story of Saul needing the soothing comfort of David’s music, for some days ago I decided to listen again to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” The three movements of the Moonlight Sonata are now my daily therapeutic meditation.

Most people know the beautiful theme of the first movement, with the dignity of its quietly electrifying melody. What surprised me, though, was just how much I enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) the rather more lively second and third movements. The second, in particular, is–at only two minutes long–a real little jewel of mesmerizing capacity. The third movement is more complex than the second, but maintains an absolutely frenetic pace punctuated by only very short slower passages. When I listen to the Moonlight, I don’t want it to end, and invariably I go back and start it again at the beginning.

It really is amazing how many of the most famous pieces of the canon were written by Beethoven. The dynamism of the fifth symphony’s opening is something that all can recognize, even if they have only seen a coffee commercial. Positively everyone can recognize the “Ode to Joy” of the Ninth. On a smaller scale, the Moonlight Sonata and the lovely little Für Elise continue to be identifiable by the masses they intrigue. It’s a worthy legacy for a great man, and I’m glad to enjoy in the Moonlight the fruits of his labours.