Both older composers influenced Beethoven, who worked the form to perfection with his 12 trios. The most well-known of the piano trios for violin-cello-piano is the Piano Trio In B-flat Major Opus 97 'Archduke' written in 1811. Three years previous to that work he wrote the two piano trios of Opus 70. The first trio of that opus is in D Major, and is close in popularity to the 'Archduke' . This trio also has the nickname Ghost, taken from the atmosphere of the 2nd movement. The Ghost trio was Beethoven's return to the form after he wrote his first trios ten years before. Unlike most of his other piano trios, this one is in only three movements:
I. Allegro vivace e con brio - The first movement begins with a declaration of equality between all three instruments as they all play the same motive over a 4-octave span:
II. Largo assai ed espressivo - Written in D minor, this movement is the longest of the trio. The movement begins with a stark dialogue between strings and piano:
Macbeth, with the music of this movement based on sketches of music for the Witches' Scene. With deep tremolos in the piano like a creeping spectre and sharply accented chords like the howling of a damned spirit, it is no wonder the nickname of Ghost has lasted for so many years. After one last howl, the music tries to settle into a more calm major key mood, but the end comes quickly with short and dry notes in the piano and pizzicato in the strings on the key note of D.
III. Presto - The finale resembles the opening movement as both are rather short in length and begin with a short motive that returns: