Tag Archives: Hugo Wolf

The Death of Hugo Wolf


Hugo Wolf, a German eccentric, was most well known for his art songs. Hugo Wolf’s life was one of melancholy and despair. Although a musical prodigy in various instruments, including piano and violin, his severe depression, mood swings, and contumacious nature prevented him from completing any enrollment in music schools. As a composer, he was influenced by Richard Wagner’s music; and although Wolf did not complete any large scale works, his musical style is still reminiscent of Wagner. With a great passion for poetry, he decided to set the words to music, often times using poems already set to music by other composers, as he felt the music did not do the poem justice. At the height of his song writing career, he suffered from mental deterioration, which was a byproduct of syphilis. This eventually caused him to stop composing all together. At the height of his instability, he attempted to drown himself, before seeking refuge in an insane asylum. He died there, with his mind decayed.