A near contemporary and rival of Haydn, Leopold Hofmann was held in the highest regard in his native Vienna where he served as Kapellmeister at St Stephen's Cathedral, a position to which Mozart might have succeeded had he lived. Hofmann was a prolific composer of instrumental music and he wrote a good deal of chamber music although much of it has been lost. Hofmann also composed a substantial body of chamber music for strings and among the most interesting of these works are the Six Sonatas for Violin & Basso. The sonatas are as a whole more technically difficult than any of the composer's other chamber works with violin. In some respects, particularly in their extensive use of double-stopping and two-part textures in the violin part, they are more technically demanding than his violin concertos. There is no attempt, however, to involve the basso in the presentation of thematic material and in this respect the sonatas are quite unlike Hofmann's one extant Duo for Violin and Violoncello (Badley II.D2) in which the two parts are treated equally. In view of their technical difficulty and limited dissemination it is difficult to understand Hofmann's motivation for composing the sonatas. Their exploration of multiple-voicing, particularly in first and second movements, and the use of a Minuet with variations for five of the finales – all of which follow a similar pattern of technical exploitation – suggests that the sonatas may have been composed by Hofmann in the first instance as teaching pieces.