In the Classical period, and well into the 19th century, piano trios were almost“fashion accessories”, At the end of his life, Haydn could look back proudly at the 39 piano trios which he now left to posterity.

Volume II contains the Piano Trios Hob. XV:5–14, which were written between 1784 and 1790. This is the period when Haydn was gradually becoming more comfortable with the “Hammerklavier;” this clearly emerges from the style of piano writing in these pieces. All ten trios bear witness to Haydn’s mastery; they are music for the home, but of a genuinely lofty style and, thanks to their brilliance and variety, perfectly at home in the concert hall as well.