In the years immediately following Haydn’s retirement his former pupil Ignaz Joseph Pleyel (1757-1831) was probably the most popular composer in Europe in addition to being an important music publisher and piano maker. The energy be brought to his many business ventures is also apparent in his music and in particular to the works written in the shadow of Haydn in the late 1770s and 1780s.
Early in 1795 Pleyel settled in Paris, opened a music shop and founded a publishing house which, over the 39 years it was existence, issued over 4000 works including compositions by Boccherini, Beethoven, Clementi, Haydn and others. Among the historically most important publications issued by the Maison Pleyel were the first miniature scores and, in 1801, a Collection complette des quatuors d’Haydn, dédiée au Premier Consul Bonaparte. The first edition contained 80 quartets, subsequent editions adding two, then one, as Haydn composed them.