Wednesday's early-morning sky featured a stunning celestial display as a lunar eclipse coincided with a supermoon and a blue moon. If that doesn't make you want to break out in song, at least you can cue up some classical music that also features the moon in a starring role.
Here's your must-hear lunar soundtrack:
Moonlight Sonata, by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 didn't pick up its well-known nickname until after his death when a music critic claimed that its opening strains evoked looking at the moon shining on Lake Lucerne yet it remains the quintessential tribute to our heavenly neighbor. This version with orchestral accompaniment adds gravitas.
Blue Moon, by Richard Rodgers
"Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own." Eventually after a few tries, starting in the early '30s, by lyricist Lorenz Hart those words helped immortalize a song that defined an era and has spanned the decades. There are sappy instrumental versions, but we're going to make an exception to our classical-only policy for this historic version by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra with vocals.
Clair de Lune, by Claude Debussy
For the third movement of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque for piano, whose name translates as "moonlight" in French, nothing evokes the mystery and majesty of its subject more than the great Leopold Stokowski's orchestral transcription, which was intended for the 1940 Disney animated film Fantasia.
Verklärte Nacht, by Arnold Schoenberg
Inspired by a poem of the same name by Richard Dehmel, Schoenberg's somber, beautiful work tells the musical tale of a moonlit walk by two lovers through a dark forest and her sharing of an even darker secret.
Bright Blue Music, by Michael Torke
Drawn from Torke's Color Music suite, this cheerful work might not be specifically about the moon, but the color sure is right.
Piano Concerto No. 1: Romanza, by Frederic Chopin
Chopin described his Romanza as "intended to convey the impression one receives when gazing on a beautiful landscape that evokes in the soul beautiful memories for example, on a fine moonlit spring night." Winter will do for this rare event.
Song for the Winter Moon, by Walter Cummings
Speaking of winter, Cummings' work for concert band might be the most appropriate choice in our survey, considering the timing of this rare event.
A Colour Symphony: 'Blue,' by Arthur Bliss
The color of the moment returns in Bliss' ode to water but just imagine that it's reflecting the moon at night, and it takes on new meaning.
The Merry Wives of Windsor: 'O susser Mond,' by Otto Nicolai
It's known as the "Moon Chorus." What more do you need to know?
Il Mondo Della Luna: Overture, by Joseph Haydn
More opera, this one an entire work dedicated to our subject it translates as "The World on the Moon." Here we have the overture that kicks off the musical festivities.