Piano Trios, Op. 1 (Beethoven)

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Piano Trios
by Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven Riedel 1801.jpg
Beethoven in 1801, portrait by Carl Traugott Riedel
CatalogueOp. 1/1–3
DedicationPrince Lichnowsky
Performed1795 (1795): Vienna

Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 1 is a set of three piano trios (written for piano, violin, and cello), first performed in 1795 in the house of Prince Lichnowsky, to whom they are dedicated.[1] The trios were published in 1795.

Despite the Op. 1 designation, these trios were not Beethoven's first published compositions[2]; this distinction belongs rather to his Dressler Variations for keyboard (WoO 63). Clearly he recognized the Op. 1 compositions as the earliest ones he had produced that were substantial enough (and marketable enough) to fill out a first major publication to introduce his style of writing to the musical public.

Op. 1 No. 1 - Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat major[edit]

The first movement opens with an ascending arpeggiated figure (a so-called Mannheim Rocket, like that opening the first movement of the composer's own Piano Sonata no 1, Opus 2 no 1),[3]

Op. 1 No. 2 - Piano Trio No. 2 in G major[edit]

Op. 1 No. 3 - Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor[edit]

Unlike the other piano trios in this opus, the third trio does not have a scherzo as its third movement but a minuet instead.

This third piano trio was later reworked by Beethoven into the C minor string quintet, Op. 104.[4]


  1. ^ Beethoven's Trios for string instruments, wind instruments and for mixed ones. All About Beethoven. Retrieved 2011-12-10
  2. ^ "Beethoven's first childhood composition is predictably incredible for a 12-year-old". Classic FM. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  3. ^ Cummings, Robert. "Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2/1 (1793–1795)" in All Music Guide to Classical Music: The Definitive Guide to Classical Music, p. 106 (Chris Woodstra, Gerald Brennan, Allen Schrott eds., Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005).
  4. ^ String Quintet in C minor, Op. 104. Hyperion Records. Retrieved 2011-12-10

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