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Beethoven image

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Piano Trio in D Major, op. 70, no. 1
Autograph manuscript [1808]
The Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection; Cary 61

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Beethoven wrote the two piano trios of op. 70 in Vienna in 1808, the year during which he also completed the Fifth Symphony and composed the Sixth Symphony and Choral Fantasy. The trios are dedicated to the Countess Marie Erdödy, in whose house he was living when he composed them; they were first performed there in December 1808 and were published together the next year. The first is popularly called the "Ghost" Trio, an allusion to the mysterious atmosphere of the second movement (Largo assai ed espressivo) evoked by a languid metrical pulse, hushed tremolos on the piano, subtly shifting tone colors, and unsettled harmonies.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.