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Henry Holcombe (1690–1756), born in Chester as the son of a silk weaver, became between 1720 and his death one of the leading English composers in small-scale forms, mainly vocal but also instrumental. His most substantial contribution in the second category was a set of six sonatas for violin and basso continuo published in 1745 alongside shorter sonatas for other instruments. In these sonatas he betrays his Italian leanings and especially his debt to the Italian violinist Carbonelli, who was his friend and possibly also teacher. Mixed in with the Italian elements are ones taken from English song, where Holcombe excelled. The result is a fascinating stylistic synthesis and a valuable contribution to violin literature.
Music example Sonata No. 4 (pdf) Music example Sonata No. 5 (pdf) Music example Sonata No. 6 (pdf)