Piano Trio in Bb 'Archduke', Op. 97

The Piano Trio in Bb major, Op. 97 is a work for piano, violin, and cello, finished in 1811. Commonly referred to as the Archduke Trio -because of its dedication to Archduke Rudolph of Austria, an amateur pianist, friend and student of Beethoven- this work was written late in the so called 'middle-period'. The first public performance was given by Beethoven himself, Ignaz Schuppanzigh and Josef Linke in 1814, as his deafness continued to encroach upon his ability as a performer. 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 is sometimes reffered to as No. 7, the numbering of Beethoven's twelve piano trios is not standardized, and in other sources it may be shown as having a different number, if any.

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