Piano Trio, Op. 97 (Beethoven)
The Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97, by Ludwig van Beethoven is a piano trio for piano, violin, and cello, finished in 1811. It is commonly referred to as the Archduke Trio, because it was dedicated to Archduke Rudolph of Austria, an amateur pianist who was a friend and composition student of Beethoven.
The trio was written late in the composer's so-called "middle period". He began composing it in the summer of 1810, and completed it in March 1811.
The first public performance was given by Beethoven himself, Ignaz Schuppanzigh (violin) and Josef Linke (cello) at the Viennese hotel Zum römischen Kaiser on 11 April 1814, as his deafness continued to encroach upon his ability as a performer. The violinist and composer Louis Spohr wrote: "In forte passages the poor deaf man pounded on the keys until the strings jangled and in piano he played so softly that whole groups of notes were omitted." It was Beethoven's last performance in the role of pianist.
Although the "Archduke Trio" is sometimes numbered as "No. 7", the numbering of Beethoven's twelve piano trios is not standardized, and in other sources the Op. 97 trio may be shown as having a different number, if any.
The work is in four movements:
- Allegro moderato
- Scherzo (Allegro)
- Andante cantabile ma però con moto. Poco piu adagio.
- Allegro moderato - Presto
A typical performance runs approximately 40 minutes in length.
References in popular culture
- The Archduke plays a significant role in Elizabeth George's mystery A Traitor to Memory (2001)
- In Haruki Murakami's novel Kafka on the Shore (2002), the piece and its history are used to explain the relationship between two main characters, Nakata and Hoshino, and the latter's development as a person
- Piano Trio [No. 7](?): Free scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- BBC Discovering Music
- Concert Podcast from Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- Information and digitized early editions at the Beethoven-Haus Digital Archives