Who sings early on a Sunday morning

Composers

Hugo Filipp Jakob Wolf was born on 13 March 1860, the fourth of six surviving children, in Windischgraz, Styria, then part of the Austrian Empire. He was taught the piano and violin by his father at an early age and continued to study piano at the local primary school. His secondary education was unsuccessful, leaving his school in Graz after one term and then the Benedictine abbey school in St Paul after two years for failing Latin. When, in 1875, his lack of interest in all subjects other than music led to him leaving his next school in Marburg after another two years, it was decided that he should live with his aunt in Vienna and study at the conservatoire.

In Vienna he attended the opera with his new circle of friends, which included the young Gustav Mahler, and became a devotee of Wagner. However, after only two years he was unfairly dismissed from the conservatoire for a breach of discipline, after a fellow student sent the director a threatening letter, signing it Hugo Wolf.

He continued to compose and returned to Vienna in 1877 to earn a living as a music teacher, but he did not have the necessary temperament for this vocation and would, throughout his life, rely on the generosity of friends and patrons to support him. The composer Goldschmidt took him under his wing and introduced him to influential acquaintances, as well as lending him books, music and money. It was, however, under Goldschmidt’s guidance that he paid a visit to a brothel in 1878, resulting in him contracting syphilis, which later led to his insanity and early death. This sexual initiation coincided with his first major burst of songwriting.

His mood swings and sporadic creativity were now quite pronounced, and he stayed with friends who could offer him the tranquility and independence he needed to work. In 1881, Goldschmidt found him a post as second conductor in Salzburg, where his musical talents were greatly appreciated, but his violent quarrelling with the director led to his return to Vienna early the following year. For a while his mood brightened, but by 1883, the year of Wagner’s death, he had stopped writing music.

At this point, his future seemed uncertain. His work had been declined by publishers Schott and Breitkopf, he had writer's block, and he quarrelled with friends. He had been teaching Melanie Köchert since 1881, and with the influence of her husband he was appointed music critic of the Sunday journal Wiener Salonblatt, for which he spent three years writing pro Wagnerian, anti-Brahmsian pieces. Although this was useful, it did get in the way of his composition, and attempts to have his own works played were thwarted by musicians who had fallen foul of his sharp criticism.

He began to write music again in 1886, finally confident in his talents. In May 1887, his father died, and although Wolf wrote little for the rest of the year, a publisher did produce two volumes of his songs, one dedicated to his mother, the other to the memory of his father.

Again taking refuge with friends, Wolf now began a sudden, spontaneous burst of songwriting, emerging from years as a music critic and coinciding with the start of his love affair with Melanie Köchert. By March, after 43 Mörike settings, he took a break with friends and then began another spate of songwriting in September resulting in thirteen Eichendorff and more Mörike songs. He returned to Vienna and in February 1889 had finished all but one of the 51 songs of his Goethe songbook. After another summer break, he returned to writing and April 1890 saw him complete his 44 Spanish songs. By June 1890, this creative period of two and a half years had produced a total of 174 songs.

Wolf’s fame had now spread beyond Austria, with articles being written in German publications. His exhaustion and bouts of depression and insomnia meant that he wrote very little for most of 1891, but at the end of December wrote another 15 Italian songs. For the next three years, he barely wrote a note.

In April 1895, spurred on by Humperdinck’s operational success of Hansel and Gretel, he again began composing from dawn till dusk. By early July the piano score of his four-act opera The corregidor was complete, with the orchestration taking the rest of the year. It was turned down by Vienna, Berlin and Prague but finally staged in Mannheim to great success. He completed his Italian songbook with 24 songs written in the period from 25 March to 30 April 1896.

In March 1897, he wrote his last songs: settings of German translations of Michelangelo sonnets. He was, by now, clearly a sick man, but nevertheless in September he embarked on a new opera, feverishly completing sixty pages in three weeks. It was at this point that he succumbed to madness, claiming to have been appointed the director of the Vienna Opera. Under restraint, he was taken to an asylum, and although he returned home to Vienna briefly in 1898, he was returned to an institution later that year after trying to drown himself. His devoted Melanie visited him regularly until his death on 22 February 1903. He is buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery beside Schubert and Beethoven.

© 2011, Mark Stone

Related songs

ComposedTitle
? Evening pictures
? Evening bells
1888 Farewell (no.53)
1890 Oh, the boy's eyes (no.6)
1890 Oh, it was in May (no.30)
1890 Oh, how long the soul slumbers! (no.8)
1888 Agnes (no.14)
1890 All went, heart, to rest (no.31)
1897 Everything ends what arises
1891 When I was sailing on the Euphrates
1888 To sleep (no.29)
1888 To the beloved (No. 32)
1888 To an aeolian harp (no.11)
1877 To *** (O don't you dare)
1889 Anacreon's grave (no.29)
1877 souvenir
1892 Even small things can delight us (no.1)
1890 On the green balcony (no.15)
1875 On the lake (Op. 3 no.5)
1878 On the Wandering I
1878 On the wandering II
1878 On the hike
1888 On an old picture (no.23)
1888 On a Christmas flower I, "Daughter of the Forest" (no.20)
1888 On a Christmas flower II, "Sleeps in the winter floor" (no.21)
1888 On a hike (no.15)
1888 Order (no.50)
1878 From my great pain
1890 Cover me with flowers (no.36)
1888 Encounter (no.8)
1891 Mindfulness
1887 Mind I (Cowardly Thoughts)
1888 At a wedding (no.51)
1896 Benedeit the blessed mother (no.35)
1877 Modest love
1887 Bitterolf
1890 Ask him, mother, please the boy (no.26)
1890 Blind looking, dark lamp (no.19)
1891 Floral greeting
1891 Cophtic song I
1891 Cophtic song II
1890 Since only suffering and passion (no.42)
1891 Thanks to the pariah
1878 It's a roar and a howl
1878 The child at the well
? The charcoal burner is drunk
? The serenade (no.4)
? The abandoned maid (no.7)
1877 The little bird
1892 That all your charms were painted (no.9)
1890 Your mother, sweet child (no.41)
1890 The fatherland
1888 Think it, oh soul! (No.39)
? The fire rider (no.44)
1875 The fisherman (Op. 3 no.3)
1888 The friend (no.1)
1888 The gardener (No.17)
1888 The recovered to hope (no.1)
? The Soldier of Fortune (no.10)
? The golden morning
1888 The Hunter (No. 40)
? The boy and the immlein (no.2)
1886 The king at the coronation
1892 The moon has made a serious complaint (no.7)
? The musician (no.2)
1891 The new Amadis
1891 The Pied Piper (no.11)
1891 The singer
1891 The shepherd
? The Scholar (no.13)
? The Horror Berger (no.9)
1877 The swallows homecoming
1887 The soldier I (no.5)
1886 The Soldier II (no.6)
1888 The tambour (No.5)
? The desperate lover (no.14)
1890 Someday, someday, thought mine (no.32)
1891 The convert (27)
1890 You God gave birth, you pure one (no.2)
1888 The ghosts at Mummelsee (no.47)
1890 You who float (no.4)
? The little one (no.6)
1880 The night (no.19)
1877 The spinner
1891 The Brittle (no.26)
1884 The daughter of the heathen
1887 The gypsy (no.7)
1891 I am obliged to interpret this
1897 Three poems by Michaelangelo
1897 Three poems by Reinick
1890 Three chants from Ibsen's "The Festival on Solhaug"
1876 You are like a flower (wolf)
1892 You think to catch me with a thread (no.10)
? You very young boy
1896 You tell me that I am not a princess (no.28)
1889 Eichendorff songs
1890 Oath, so love swore (no.20)
1876 A grave
1892 I came here to serenade you (no.22)
1888 An hour before day (no.3)
1888 Elfenlied (no.16)
1891 Epiphany
1888 It's him (no.6)
1876 Spring is serious
1891 Create and animate
1876 First loss (Op. 9 no.3)
? First love song of a girl (no.42)
? Expectation (no.18)
1878 The blue hussars are blowing
? It was an old king
1879 do not ask
1888 Question and answer (no.35)
1891 Cheeky and happy I
1891 Cheeky and Happy II
1890 Good news
1891 Spring over the year
1883 Spring bells
? Spring greetings
1897 Feel my soul
1890 Take me, child, to Bethlehem (no.5)
1888 Foot trip (No.10)
1891 Ganymede (no.50)
1888 Prayer (no.28)
1889 Poems by Joseph von Eichendorff
1890 Go, beloved, go now! (no.44)
1891 Brilliant hustle and bustle
? Singing Margits
1888 Singing Weylas (no.46)
1896 Bless the green and whoever wears it! (no.39)
1892 Blessed be through whom the world was born (no.4)
1892 Journeyman, do we want to wrap ourselves in robes (no.14)
? Journeyman song
1891 Same and same
1891 Goethe songs
1891 Limits of humanity
1878 Gretchen in front of the devotional image of Mater Dolorosa
? Gudmund's first song
? Gudmund's second song
1889 Gutmann and Gutweib (no.13)
? Harpist I (no.1)
? Harp player II (no.2)
? Harpist III (no.3)
1891 Would I have any concerns
1892 Lift up your blond head and don't sleep (no.18)
1888 Homesickness (no.37)
1888 Homesickness (no.12)
1878 autumn
1879 Autumn decision
1890 Lord, what is the ground here (no.9)
1890 Heart, do not despair quickly (no.21)
1896 Tonight I got up at midnight (no.41)
1891 Delighted in your love
1892 You are proud, beautiful child (no.13)
1896 I no longer eat my bread dry (no.24)
1890 I drove across the sea (no.18)
1896 I have a loved one living in Penna (no.46)
1896 I was told and I was told (no.26)
1878 I stood in dark dreams
1892 You young people, you pull into the field (no.16)
1892 You are the most beautiful far and wide (no.3)
1888 In spring (no.13)
1890 In the shadow of my curls (no.12)
? In the Stranger I (no.2)
? In the Foreign II (no.3)
? Abroad VI (no.4)
1888 In the morning (no.24)
? Italian songbook
1878 Yes, the fairest! I say it openly
? Hunter's Song (no.4)
1888 Holy Week (no.26)
? None of the beautiful ones are the same
1890 Blade, blade, my pandero (no.11)
1878 Boy death
1891 Come on, darling, come on
1890 Come, O death, surrounded by night (no.34)
1891 Royal prayer
1890 Little head, little head, not whimpered (no.24)
1896 Just let her go, who plays so proud (no.30)
1888 Farewell (no.36)
? Darling where are you (No.2)
1883 Darling where are you
1890 Love in my bosom ignites a fire (no.27)
? Better everything (no.11)
1883 Love message
1878 Love spring
1876 Love spring (I saw spring once)
? Love happiness (no.16)
? Song of the transferred note
1888 Song of a lover (no.43)
1888 Song of the Wind (no.38)
1878 Bouquet of songs
1891 Curls, hold me captive
1876 Girl with the red mouth
1892 They tell me your mother doesn't want it (no.21)
1877 Mouse trap sayings
1876 Calm of the sea
1878 My darling, we sat together
1896 My lover invited me to the table (no.25)
1892 My lover is so small that without bending over (no.15)
1892 My lover sings at the house in the moonlight (no.20)
1891 Mignon (do you know the country)
1889 Mignon I (no.5)
1889 Mignon II (no.6)
1889 Mignon III (no.7)
1878 I dreamed of a king's child
1892 I was told you were traveling far away (no.2)
? With black sails
1890 May all wicked tongues (no.23)
? morning Mood
1877 morning dew
? Mörike songs
1890 I come with great effort and load (no.7)
1878 After saying goodbye
1889 Posthumous songs (Eichendorff)
? Obituary (no.1)
1875 Night and grave
1883 Night greeting
1878 Night hike
1887 Night Magic (no.8)
1892 No, young gentleman, that's not how you do it, really (no.12)
? New love (no.30)
1891 Opportunity does not make thieves
1896 I can no longer sing because the wind (no.42)
1891 I never want to lose you
1888 Insatiable Love (no.9)
1888 Mermaid Binsefuss (no.45)
1890 Now I am your (no.1)
1892 Now let's make peace, dearest life (no.8)
1890 Now wander, Maria (no.3)
1896 O would your house be as transparent as a glass (no.40)
1896 O would you know how much I am because of you (no.44)
1890 Whether frowning glances also slipped (no.35)
1891 Whether the Koran is from eternity
1888 Peregrina I (no.33)
1888 Peregrina II (no.34)
1876 Pearl fisherman
1891 phenomenon
1891 Philine
1891 Prometheus
1888 Advice of an old woman (no.41)
1891 Knight Kurt's bridal trip
? Return (no.5)
1890 Tell him that he will come to me (no.25)
1890 Says, is it you, fine sir (no.22)
1876 Parting look
1888 Sleeping baby Jesus (No.25)
1890 Painful bliss and blissful pains (no.28)
1896 I'm already stretching out my tired limbs in bed (no.27)
1896 Shut up for once, you are dead gossip there! (no.43)
1890 Six poems by Keller, "Old Wise Men"
1887 Six poems by Scheffel, Mörike, Goethe and Kerner
1877 Six songs for a woman's voice
? Sailor's farewell (no.17)
1875 Longing (Op. 3 no.2)
? Self-confession (no.52)
? Selected Mörike songs
1892 Blessed are you blind who do not see you (no.5)
1890 Strange is Juana's wise man (no.13)
1888 Sigh (no.22)
1890 They blow to march (no.38)
1878 You have company tonight
1891 You did because of the drunkenness
? Sing my darling like a finch
? Scolia
1891 As long as you are sober
? As true as the sun shines
? Sun of the Sleepless
1891 Spanish songbook
1890 Spanish songbook: Spiritual songs
1890 Spanish songbook: Secular songs
? Late autumn mist
1891 Mockery song
1891 St Nepomuks eve
1876 serenade
1883 Serenade ('Come into the silent night!')
1896 If I die, wrap my limbs in flowers (no.33)
? Stars with golden feet
1876 Silent security
? Stork Message (no.48)
1880 Suschen's bird
1880 Suschen's bird
1890 I am in pain deep in my heart (no.33)
1890 Don't trust love (no.29)
1877 Sad ways
1890 Only make fun of loved ones (no.14)
? Enter, high warrior
1891 We all have to be drunk
1878 Over night
1888 At midnight (no.19)
1890 And do you sleep, my girl (no.37)
1896 And you get up early in the morning from bed (no.34)
1892 And do you want to see your loved one die (no.17)
? Accident (no.15)
? Concealment (no.12)
1896 Devour ’the abyss of my dearest hut (no.45)
1889 Secret love (no.3)
1897 Four poems based on Heine, Shakespeare and Lord Byron
1887 Guardian song on the Wartburg
? Forest girl (no.20)
1887 Wanderer's night song
1877 Wanderlied
? I walk in the morning dew
1896 What kind of song should be sung to you (no.23)
1891 What were in the tavern today
1896 What's the anger, my darling, that heats you up? (no.32)
1890 Woe to him who entangled me (no.43)
1890 Do not cry, little eyes! (no.39)
1896 When you touch me with your eyes and laugh (no.38)
1890 When you go to the flowers (no.16)
1896 When you, my love, rise to heaven (no.36)
1891 When I think of you
? When I look in your eyes' (Wolf)
1892 Who called you? Who called you here? (no.6)
1890 Who lost his lovely love (no.17)
1890 Who hurt your little foot? (no.40)
1880 Like the image of the moon trembles
? How the bright moon shines
1892 How long has always been my desire (no.11)
1896 How should I be happy and even laugh (no.31)
1891 How am I supposed to stay cheerful?
1896 How much time did I lose loving you! (no.37)
1877 Lullaby in summer
1877 Lullaby in winter
1892 We were both silent for a long time (no.19)
1888 Where can I find consolation? (no.31)
? Where I am, darkened around me (wolf)
? Where will once
1882 What to do with Freud?
1897 I think so often
1896 Well I know your status, which is not low (no.29)
1890 You have wounds, my beloved (no.10)
? Brimstone butterfly in April (no.18)
1888 For the new year (no.27)
1883 To rest, sur rest!
1888 As a warning (no.49)

Worked with the following poets texts