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Prince Nicolas Esterhazy, in whose service Haydn spent a large part of his life, was an enthusiastic champion of an instrument that was in the process of disappearing: this was the baryton, a type of viola da gamba with sympathetic strings that were also able to be plucked. Haydn composed many works for his employer’s use during the 1770s, amongst which were the 125 trios for baryton with viola and cello. The prince’s instrument and its case are shown on the cover of this recording and can be found in the collection of the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest.