Wolf: Hugo: 13 March 1860 – 22 Feb 1903

By | April 20, 2021

Introduction

Black & White portrait photograph of Hugo Wolf
Hugo Wolf
13 March 1860-22 Feb 1903

Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer famous for his Lieder or “art songs”. His inspiration came from Richard Wagner.

Early years

At the age of four, his father taught him piano and violin. He studied music and music theory at primary school. However, he didn’t have any interest in other subjects and was dismissed from his first secondary school and left another …. a trait which was to continue.

Career

Wolf was outspoken leading to his removal from the Vienna Conservatoire at the age of seventeen. Following this, he briefly returned home but returned to Vienna to became a teacher.

He relied heavily on wealthy patrons to support his career as a composer. Despite his frankness, he was also quite a charmer.

After a failed relationship led him to briefly return home he became Kapelmeiser at Salzberg. However, he didn’t possess the technique or personality to hold this position and a year later he was back in Vienna.

Wolf met Richard Wagner in 1875 whilst at the Vienna Conservatory. He idolised Wagner and was greatly encouraged and influenced by him. Consequently, his death in 1883 deeply affected Wolf and he wrote one of his best works “Zur Ruh, zur Ruh” – probably in remembrance of Wagner.

He also greatly respected Chopin, Liszt and Schubert

Illness

Wolf had times when he was a prolific composer his most productive years being 1888-1889. However, he suffered from syphilis in the late 1870’s which relapsed causing bouts of depression throughout his life, then later he suffered paresis and finally insanity.

Musical Downloads & Further Reading

On music-scores.com we have a Hugo Wolf Nun Wandre, Maria Sheet Music for Voice and Piano.

Further reading on this composer can be found on Wikipedia, Naxos and Britannica.

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