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Wolf, Hugo (1860 - 1903)

Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin, particularly noted for his art songs. He brought to this form a concentrated expressive intensity unique in late Romantic music, somewhat related to that of the Second Viennese School in concision, but utterly unrelated in technique.

Hugo Wolf Portrait © Österreich Werbung / Trumler
Hugo Wolf was a man torn by inner conflict. On the one hand he was sensitive, lyrical and subtle in his lieder, and on the other hand a lively and harsh critic of the contemporary Viennese music scene. Wolf is described in the subtitle of one biography - not without justification - as the "angry romantic". Born in Windischgratz (today's Slovenj Gradec in Slovenia) on 13th March 1860, he died insane surrounded by his closest friends on 22nd February 1903. Wolf, who composed orchestra, opera, chamber and choral music, is the most important composer of lieder between Brahms and Schönberg.