This Piano Trio is written in a typically romantic vein, with an intense and expressive use of the three instruments, which often, when sounding together, form a rich and dense texture in which the main thematic ideas are treated lyrically and polyphonically.
The first movement, composed in strict sonata form, constitutes the basis of the work as a whole. The main theme, marked “cantabile”, is broad and lyrical, the second is a two voice canon. The second movement, a scherzo in predominant 5/8 time, makes substantial use of syncopations and dance rhythms. Its trio is toccata-like.
The culmination of the work is its third and last movement, a slow adagio, which begins with a plaintive and simple melody, marked “molto espressivo e con dolore”. This melody gradually develops into a song of heartfelt yearning, and the movement ends, after a brief violin cadenza on a cello pedal, in a soft ethereal reminder on the piano, against sustained high flageolets on the string instruments, of motives of both the first and third movements.