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, the youngest of twelve children of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor. Rudolf was an amateur pianist and a patron, friend, and composition student of Beethoven. Beethoven dedicated a total of fourteen compositions to the Archduke, who dedicated one of his own to Beethoven in return.
The trio was written late in the Beethoven’s so-called “middle period”. He began composing it in the summer of 1810, and completed it in March 1811.
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.
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