Ether Game

Beethoven: Piano Trio

Here’s a hint: music that goes “bump” in the night…

The so-called “Ghost” trio does not have mysterious, supernatural connotations through and through. The vibrant outer movements strongly contrast with this central Largo from which the trio’s “ghostly” nickname is taken. Although this nickname is not Beethoven‘s, it has become associated with the work over time. While later Romantics would dwell on this theme at great length, macabre visions of the afterlife were never really Beethoven’s thing. However, while composing this trio was considering writing an opera based on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Although this idea was ultimately abandoned, Beethoven had started to work out ideas for the appearance of the three witches. Perhaps some of this supernatural flavor was channeled into the stark textures, shuddering tremolo, and tenuous harmonies that give this movement its otherworldly tinge.

Music Heard On This Episode

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Piano Trio op. 70/1 ‘The Ghost’; mvt. 2
Vera Beths, vln.; Anner Bylsma, vlc.; Jos van Immerseel, fp. — Beethoven: Archduke & Ghost Trios (Sony, 2000)
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album cover
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): Piano Trio op. 70/1 ‘The Ghost’; mvt. 2
Vera Beths, vln.; Anner Bylsma, vlc.; Jos van Immerseel, fp. — Beethoven: Archduke & Ghost Trios (Sony, 2000)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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