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. Among the authentic chamber works the duos occupy a particularly interesting place. The Six Duos for Violin & Violoncello (Benton 501-506) appeared in over twenty editions in Pleyel's lifetime, the first in 1787, and in a variety of scorings. Although their unusual instrumentation undoubtedly contributed to the popularity of the Duos, their musical qualities - evidenced by the large number of contemporary arrangements - probably played a greater role. The works abound in attractive and distinctive melodic material; Pleyel writes idiomatically for both instruments and his part-writing is varied and interesting.