Allegretto B-dur для фортепьянного трио (Фортепьянное трио №9), WoO 39

Время создания: июнь 1812 года.
Посв. Maximiliane Brentano.

Вильгельм Кемпф (фортепиано),
Генрик Шеринг (скрипка),
Пьер Фурнье (виолончель).

Present for a little girl

A first glance at this autograph score shows that it does not look like most of Beethoven's other autograph scores. The Piano Trio in One Movement WoO 39 has been written in a particularly careful and neat manner, and it contains almost no corrections. Beethoven has provided fingerings throughout the piano part. Why? The answer lies on the top of the first page: "Vien am 26ten Juni. 1812. für meine kleine Freundin Maxe Brentano zu ihrer Aufmunterung im Klawierspielen. - lvBthwn." ("Vienna, 26 June 1812. for my little friend Maxe Brentano to encourage her with her piano-playing. -lvBthwn."). Maximiliane Brentano was ten years old in 1812. She was the daughter of Franz and Antonie Brentano, who were close friends of Beethoven's (Franz was the half-brother of Clemens and Bettina Brentano). Beethoven's desire to "encourage her with her piano-playing" seems to have been successful, as he dedicated another work to her nine years later: op. 109, one of his late piano sonatas.


Beethoven composed the Piano Trio in B flat major for Maximiliane Brentano (1802 - 1861), the ten-year-old daughter of Antonie and Franz Brentano, presenting the work to her on June 26, 1812. The composer's dedicatory message is to his "little friend" as "encouragement in pianoforte playing." Beethoven must have liked the little girl very much, for she once poured cold water on his head and lived to tell the tale. After the family left Vienna in 1812 Beethoven remained in contact with them, and in 1821 Maximiliane received the dedication of the Piano Sonata in E major, Op. 109.

Found among Beethoven's works after his death, the Piano Trio, WoO 39, was not published until 1830 in Frankfurt am Main. The simplicity of the piano part reflects the age of the Trio's recipient, but the simplicity does not prevent the pianist from being the "star" of the piece. There is little contrapuntal writing; most of the keyboard part consists of a single melodic line over repeated chords or Alberti figures. However, the lack of technical difficulty does not imply a lack of musical interest. Many aspects of the piece make it clear this is the work of the mature Beethoven.

In sonata form, the single movement, marked Allegretto, opens without introduction. The main theme is in the piano, with sustained accompaniment in the strings. When the violin and cello finally get the theme, it is truncated and played in a clever, layered fashion that sets in motion the modulation to the dominant. The secondary theme is an elegant, arching tune fashioned chiefly from a single, three-note motive. This, too, is introduced by the piano then transformed by the violin and cello. Beethoven begins the development section with the theme on the dominant, but quickly moves to the distant harmony of D major and introduces a new motive. After some impressive scales for the left hand of the piano part the recapitulation begins, on the tonic, but with the theme transposed up an octave, soaring above a more active string accompaniment. The transition is just like that of the exposition, but transposed; it is one of the most predictable Beethoven had written in years. All the secondary material is resolved to the tonic before an impressively large coda begins with the main theme on E flat. Numerous scale passages and a lengthy trill emphasize basic keyboard skills as Beethoven continues to develop first theme fragments until the close.

(All Music Guide)