In the classical era, and far into the 19th century, piano trios were what we might call “fashion accessories”. It is thus no coincidence that Beethoven, following in the footsteps of Haydn and Mozart, took up this genre and created altogether 13 piano trios of his own.
This first volume contains the three Piano Trios op. 1, the very first works of all which Beethoven deemed publishable and deserving of an opus number. This was followed by the Trio op. 11 for clarinet or violin, cello and piano (“Gassenhauer”). Beethoven drew a great deal of attention to himself when he presented the three Trios op. 1 to the public (including Joseph Haydn) probably in August 1795, at a soirée given by Prince Lichnowsky. They have remained precious exemplars of their genre to this day.