Hugo Wolf

Hugo Wolf
Makaela Smith
Family Life
Hugo Wolf was born on March 23, 1860
in Windischgraz, Austria.
 He was taught to read and play music at a
young age by his father and teachers.
 Hugo Wolf’s relationship was not the best
with his family, mainly due to his moods.
 Hugo never married or had any children.
Mental Health
Throughout his life, Hugo Wolf suffered from
depression and mood swings that often
strained his relationships.
 In the fall of 1897, his mind gave away
because of syphilis and he was sent to an
 In 1898, he was believed to be cured and
was released only to try and drown himself
that October
 He spent the rest of his life in the asylum
until he died on February 22, 1903.
Valentine Franck
Hugo Wolf’s first love was Vally
“Valentine” Franck.
 The couple was involved for three years,
and she influenced many of his works.
 She left Hugo shortly before his twentyfirst birthday due to his wide-ranged
mood swings and depression.
The Kö̈cherts
Later in his life, Hugo Wolf became
involved in a love triangle.
 He fell in love with Melanie Köchert
whom was married to his friend Heinrich.
 The affair was said to begin in 1884 and
end in 1893 when Heinrich found out
about it.
 Heinrich and Melanie remained married
and Heinrich still supported Hugo’s music.
The Köcherts (continued)
Melanie stayed friends with Hugo and
visited him in the insane asylum that he
stayed at until his death.
 In 1906, Melanie killed herself because
she felt guilty about the entire affair.
Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner was Wolf’s greatest
 Hugo Wolf was close to Wagner, and
always tried to impress his self proclaimed
 Wagner always pushed Wolf to do harder
and even convinced him to produce
larger-scale works.
Other Influences and Similarities
Hugo Wolf was also influenced by Robert
 Wolf’s style was similar to that of Gustav
Mahler and Robert Schumann.
Wolf had many compositions ranging
from a large opera to short songs.
 Some of his works include
◦ Multitudes of songs
◦ Der Corregidor -the only opera he ever
◦ Multiple songbooks
◦ String Quartets
◦ Lieder - perhaps one of his most famous
Italian Serenade
On May 2, 1887, Hugo wolf wrote his
Italian Serenade.
 At first, it started out as a simple string
quartet, but eventually it evolved into a
larger piece.
 He wrote it because he wanted to show
“singing” in the alto instruments as the
song went on.
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