1860 --- 1903

Hugo Wolf was born as a son of a leather trader who had a very musical mind in the city of Windischgrär which is Yugoslavia today.

He was supposed to learn a practical profession, but early in his youth he was very fond of Wagner which turned him to the music path. Being 15 he attended the Vienna Conservatory, but he was not able to bear a scholar's life for longer than two years.
He disgusted academic and systematic working too much, being a man of hot temper. He made his living as a dancing musician, for some time he was a musical conductor, mainly, however, he made his living by writing musical critics.
His critics were fanatically anti-Brahms and pro-Wagner, being at the same time poisonous as well as ironic. He led a poor life until, at last, his first cycle - the 53 Mörike-songs, erupted in a volcanous-like creation process in 1888 - aroused sponsors, mainly in south-west Germany.

During the following years he wrote his next master-pieces - always in cycles and nearly always within weeks or at most months, followed by agonizing fruitless periods, often accompanied by depressions: 51 songs on verses of Eichendorff, 51 songs on verses of Goethe, 46 songs based on the "Italian Song Book" by Paul Heyse, two volumes of the "Spanish Songbook", spiritual and secular, finally the fully ripened three Michelangelo-Songs. In between choral works like "Elfenlied" (Elf Song) and "Der Feuerreiter" (The Fire Rider), based on songs - and the only two orchestral pieces "Penthesilea" and the completely non-wagnerian lightful "Italian Serenade", which originally was planned for string quartet. Slowly but continually Hugo Wolf's fame grew.

Detlev von Liliencron greeted him with an enthusiastic hymn. A progressive paralysis, the result of a luetitious illness, set an early end to his life. He had to be delivered into a Vienna asylum.

There he dozed for nearly six years until death redeemed him.


I like to sincerely thank Roland R. Noetzelmann for translating the above and donating it to my site.

Last Updated on 12th August 2000
By Steven

And now for the Music

(1596)"Verschwiegene Liebe". Sequenced by Chiaki Ikenoue

(1597)"Ich hab' in Penna einen Liebsten wohnen". Sequenced by Chiaki Ikenoue

My thanks go to Ramon Pajares Box for sequencing and dontaing the following music.

Email (">Ramon and let him know any comments you have on his music.

(785) Italian Serenade (1892) for small orchestra, a wonderful sequenced piece by Ramon Pajares Box This is a large file please click here. for pkunzip.exe

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