Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831) was at one time the most famous composer in the world. The popularity of his music eclipsed that of even his teacher Haydn and publishers vied to bring out his latest works as soon as they were finished. Some 2000 separate prints of Pleyel works had appeared by 1800 and his fame extended to every corner of Europe and as far afield as North America. Pleyel's career as a composer spanned less than thirty years with the majority of his works composed in the 1780s. He founded a successful publishing house in Paris in the mid-1790s and later began manufacturing keyboard instruments. With increasing demands on his time from his business concerns Pleyel's productivity as a composer dropped sharply and he ceased composing around 1805. The Piano Trio in E minor (Benton 435) is the fifth of a group of six 'sonatas' composed by Pleyel around 1788. As the original designation 'sonata' suggests, these works are based around the keyboard part although Pleyel invests almost equal musical interest in the flute parts. Although violoncello plays a subordinate role in these works, its presence adds immensely to the colour of the ensemble as it does in the best of Haydn's trios.