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Erlebach - Richter - The Sunday Herald

Linn brings together five distinguished early-music specialists - Rodolfo Richter and Peter McCarthy (violins), Alison McGillivray (viol da gamba), Eligio Quinteiro (theorbo) and Silas Standage (harpsichord) - for this first recording to feature all six sonatas by Philip Heinrich Erlebach. Born some 28 years before JS Bach, Erlebach may well have had a much higher profile today had more than only 70 of his 1000 or so original scores survived the disastrous fire of 1735 at the court library of Rudolstadt in southern Germany, where he was director of music.

Strongly influenced by the Italian and French styles of the day, Erlebach's surviving scores provide ample evidence of his masterly and sophisticated compositional style. More suite than sonata in form, the six works here consist of introductory movements followed by short dance movements of Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue. As you would expect of these musicians, the performances are virtuosic, carefully crafted interpretations with a fine sense of ensemble and period style. Such accomplished musicianship effortlessly evokes the spirit and allure of this consistently captivating music. Entirely enchanting.

The Sunday Herald
15 January 2006