'Bach versus Haydn' – in replying to the question as to the reason for this programme compilation, Barthold Kuijken states that these compositions are amongst the very best works ever written for the flute by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Joseph Haydn. A comparison of these work groups, so very different in their respective styles, is exciting because they were created at almost the same time. C.P.E. Bach wrote the Quartets, Wq 93-95 during the year 1788 in Hamburg; Haydn composed the Trios, Hob XV: 15-17 1789/90 in Vienna/Eszterháza – a good ten years after Mozart's well-known Flute Quartet in D major, K285 of 1777.
These Quartets are amongst C.P.E. Bach's very best creations; he was to die a year after they were composed. Haydn wrote the Trios at the end of his period with the Eszterházys. The death of Prince Nikolaus I in late 1790 broke Haydn's close ties with the court and he was able to earn a living from his work from that time onward as a freelance artist. The stylistic differences between the two are enormous. In Bach, we find Sturm und Drang (storm and stress), Empfindsamkeit (sensitivity), contrasts, the unexpected…, in Haydn, alongside his typical wit and moving depth, we find (apparent) simplicity, clear form, elegance, charm and the cantabile quality of Viennese Classicism.