Although the works of Ludwig van Beethoven in the beginning were treated with reserve by the listeners, they had a significant influence on the musical culture of the 19th and 20th centuries. His now famous symphonies, concertos and piano sonatas have become a model and inspiration for later European composers. Likewise with his chamber music, in which works for string quartet as well as piano trios occupy a special place. The Trio in C minor is one of the first three pieces by Beethoven composed for a line-up of violin, cello and piano.
The work was created in the first half of the 1790s and was performed for the first time by the court ensemble of Karl Lichnowsky. Legend has it that the concert was attended by Joseph Haydn, who quite warmly accepted all three compositions contained in opus 1. Interestingly, for unknown reasons, he advised against the publication of the Trio in C minor. This work contrasts greatly with the remaining works from the collection, maintained in Classical style. In this case, Beethoven's natural tendency is not only to go beyond traditional norms and patterns, but also to choose the dramatic tonal key of C minor. The same in which the later, famous Symphony No. 5 was written.
Unlike Beethoven, Sergei Rachmaninoff did not devote much attention to chamber music. Most of his chamber works come from the composer's youth. A significant achievement of Rachmaninoff in the field of music for a small instrumental ensemble is the Trio Elegiaque in G minor. The virtuosic and dramatic work was written in just three days, in January 1892. It was inspired by the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Trio in G major by Claude Debussy is very much unlike Rachmaninoff’s sombre work- an unusually cheerful expression by the eighteen-year-old artist. This piece is a perfect example of light French salon music of the end of the 19th century.