Moonlight Sonata for Violin String Quartet by Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #14, otherwise known as the “Moonlight” Sonata

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Moonlight Sonata

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #14, otherwise known as the “Moonlight” Sonata was written in 1801, and dedicated to the countess Giulietta Guicciardi who was his student at the time.

Beethoven wrote the subtitle, “Sonata quasi uno fantasia”, or Sonata in the style of a fantasia, which referred to it’s unusual form – still a standard three movement solo piano piece, but essentially placing the slow movement first, and the faster movement second. The nickname “Moonlight” comes from the poet Ludwig Rellstab who reviewed the piece in the 1830’s, and the name stuck.

This is my own arrangement I made years ago for a NEXT Ensemble concert. At first I felt nervous about taking a piece that is so linked to the piano, and arranging it for string quartet but then I remembered that Beethoven had done that himself for his 9th piano sonata opus 14, and so I pushed ahead. I really liked the result, and I hope you do too!