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Better Nicknames

7044 Views 50 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  MoonlightSonata
I was just thinking about the famous works that are usually referred to by their nicknames, and about the nicknames that don't fit. The two that came to mind were Beethoven's "Moonlight" and "Tempest" sonatas, both nicknames given by publishers/biographers because of myths on what the music is "supposed to be about"

I'm not against nicknames; I think they make it easier to remember the piece, and they also can sum up the mood of the work, or what the listener should think about when listening. Yet there are pieces with nicknames, like the two mentioned, that aren't the best.

So, what are some pieces that you guys think have good nicknames? How about pieces you think have bad nicknames? And for the bad ones, what could be a better nickname? Or maybe, the piece shouldn't even have one at all!
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What I read is that it is not about moonlight, and so properly ought to be called "Moonlight." Can't remember how the name got associated with it though.
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I suppose if we talk about musical works by opus number we will appear very snobbish to others.
I don't know what a better nickname would be but I would be inclined to drop the nickname "Moonlight" from Beethoven's "Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2." (Wikipedia quote). Hey there it is, right in the quote. A better nickname for it: Fantasy! Or Fantasia!
"Resurrection" would be Mendelssohn's 5th symphony, the work that got me into Mendelssohn.
No, that's "Reformation". The "Resurrection" is Mahler's Symphony No. 2.
My bad memory!
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