The first movement of the “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig Van Beethoven consists of a haunting and beautiful melody, full of romance and pathos floating on a continuous stream of undulating harmony. The interpretation of it should be of the highest imagination, glowing with a quiet radiance of fantasy and feeling. The tone employed must be warm and melting in quality, imparting at the same time the mysterious resignation and the vague unrest of the music’s atmosphere.
The opening five bars should be played in a manner to convey a kind of rhythmical stream to the triplet figures, and thus create an impression as of a continuously undulating background for the melody which is presently to start.
The octaves in the bass should be played somewhat louder than the triplet figure in the right hand, so as to produce the requisite depth of tone, though the volume of sound should not overstep the bounds of “piano” (/>) Ex. No. I, bars 1-4.