Quasi una fantasia (almost a fantasy)

It’s quite amazing what the combination of images and inspiring music can do to people. If words alone have the power to transport you… then surely images and sound combined have the power to transform you. The reaction to moving images of Oia shown to the sound of Beethoven’s sublime Moonlight Sonata was quite special. As a lifelong admirer of this musical genius it was great to see the appreciation of his music by so many. But there is more to this piece of musical treasure than seemingly using it randomly as a soundtrack to my images.

The Moonlight Sonata was written around the summer of 1802 and at the time it made the very top of the classical charts, a place it would hold in perpetuity. The commentators and music critics of the day were often lost for words when trying to describe the piece to their readers. Berlioz wrote of the adagio “the poetry  of which the human language does not know how to describe”.

It was widely suggested that the dreamy musical piece should be played at twilight. Berlioz infact invited Franz Liszt no less, to play the piece in the “dying stages of a single lamp”. Liszt agrees but asks that the lamp be extinguished altogether and he plays it entirely in the dark. His listeners… were transfixed.
Arguably the greatest piano virtuoso of all time… playing arguably the most sublime music ever written for his instrument… in total darkness. How is that for a “moment in time”. According to Berlioz, as Liszt played for his friends “each one of us trembled in silence, overcome with respect, admiration, poetic grief; and wihtout the healing tears that came to our aid, I think we would have suffocated”.

It kind of makes you want to go back and listen to it again huh?

Well… if you do, then while you are looking at the images of Oia you should also consider the fact that the actual name of the piece is not “Moonlight Sonata”. (that’s a nickname attached to it by Ludwig Rellstab who reviewed it and thought it reminded him of landscapes in the moonlight). The real name of the masterpiece is the heading of this post… Quasi una Fantasia ( almost a fantasy) !

Which brings us to the “Santorini Dreaming” essays. For those of you that didn’t enter… Santorini will remain a fantasy, for a little longer at least. But for those of you that have entered… you are certainly a step closer to making your dream a reality. It’s no longer just a fantasy. The fact that you sat down and wrote about it means that your mind now considers it a goal. You have placed “visiting Santorini” into your subconscious and given it a priority. Regardless of whether you win or not you have allowed yourself the invaluable dreaming time… and for that you will surely benefit.

Good luck to all who have entered !


PS: for the procrastinators, you still have time to enter…. competition closes midnight GMT tomorrow night.

PPS: if you have 4-5 minutes or so to spare… and since you enjoyed the first of Beethoven’s sonatas… I thought you might enjoy watching a thunderstorm captured outside the house a week or so ago. The scenery under the brightness of lightning was breathtaking. The background music is again courtesy of the unrivalled genius of Beethoven… this time in his other masterpiece sonata “Pathetique…2nd movement”. If you were lucky enough to ever listen to Carl Haas’ ‘Adventures in good music’ radio program you will remember this piece of sublime music.

PPS: the good folks at Utube decided to remove the original soundtrack I had with this video due to copyright issues so I had to replace it with a public version of Moonlight Sonata… hope you still enjoy the video !

It’s just me having fun in the rain. The video is not really very good quality but it’s a good excuse to listen to the fantastic music…which btw lasts slightly longer than video … enjoy ;-)


4 responses to “Quasi una fantasia (almost a fantasy)

  1. that was so cool Michael…just loved watching the lightning “light” up the sky and the hills…just want to be there feeling the wind, listening to the music and enjoying a class of wine with my DH…laying in a hammock would be awesom swinging in the breeze.

  2. The music.
    The Storm.

    Thank you for a perfect way to start my day.


  3. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous and set to perfect music, too.

  4. i love how the video starts… the music is quiet and the first couple of lightning are like you are waking up to the storm, your eyes are blinking, trying to register what is going on, then the beautiful music settles in and you just watch and listen … i didn’t think it was possible to want to go there more… uurrgghh!

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