Often music pieces are dedicated to someone by the composer. Sometimes these dedications are to a family member, to a lover or love interest, to an honoured patron, or to the composer’s muse. This practice has been in place for centuries!
Tonight we will hear Trio in D Major, Op 70, No. 1, Ghost by Beethoven. This piece was written in 1808 in Heiligenstadt, Vienna and published in 1809. Opus 70 consists of two piano trios and Beethoven dedicated them to Countess Anna Maria von Erdödy.
Born in 1779 and married at 17, Countess Anna Maria von Erdödy eventually separated from her husband and lived in Vienna. A pianist herself, she held music soirées at her Vienna apartment. She and Beethoven met in 1804, most likely through mutual musical friends. By 1808, Beethoven was actively considering leaving Vienna. Countess von Erdödy was instrumental in establishing an alliance between Prince Lobkowitz, Prince Kinsk and Archduke Rudolph which resulted in Beethoven being given an annual salary of 4,000 florins if he agreed to reside permanently in Vienna. Beethoven agreed and stayed in Vienna for the remainder of his life. To express his gratitude for her part in this arrangement, Beethoven wrote and dedicated the two piano trios to the Countess.
What a wonderful gift to give someone!