(bCopenhagen, 5 July 1897; d Copenhagen, 20 Oct 1988). Danish conductor and organist. He studied at Copenhagen University and with Nielsen. In addition to other church appointments he became organist of Christiansborg Palace chapel in 1931, and of Copenhagen Cathedral in 1959. He founded the Copenhagen Boys' Choir in 1924 and the municipal singing school there, creating the basis of a Danish choral tradition, and in 1937 was appointed conductor of the Danish RSO. From 1943 to 1945 he was conductor for Swedish radio, and subsequently toured widely as a guest conductor. His reputation for clear, energetic performances, particularly in music of the 17th and 18th centuries, was enhanced by numerous recordings, including a series, ‘Masterpieces of Music before 1750’, the complete cantatas of Buxtehude, Handel's Saul and symphonies and masses by Haydn; he also recorded several works by Nielsen, of whose music he became a fervent advocate. Wöldike edited (with Jens Peter Larsen, his son-in-law) the hymnbook of the Danish Church, and published two collections of chorales and other organ works (Copenhagen, 1943 and 1960). He was a Knight of the Danish Order of Dannebrog and of the Swedish Order of Vasa.
The name given to two undesirable and unpleasant sound effects which may occur in musical performance, one having to do with temperament and tuning, the other with a structural peculiarity in an instrument that sometimes gives rise to intonation difficulties.
On keyboard instruments with tuning systems that do not provide a note intended for use as A, playing G instead, with E in the same chord, produces an unpleasant effect, supposed to resemble the howling of a wolf. In Pythagorean intonation the wolf 5th is smaller than pure by 23½ cents, a quantity known as the Pythagorean comma. But the wolf 5th in any regular mean-tone temperament (where the ‘good’ 5ths are tempered two or three times as much as in equal temperament) is considerably larger than pure (seeMean-tone, Table 1). The tuner who follows a scheme containing a wolf 5th might choose some other location for it than G–E. C–A was occasionally used in the 15th century and D–B in the 17th for mean-tone temperament; B–F was favoured, or rather disfavoured, by many 15th-century practitioners of Pythagorean intonation. On normal keyboard instruments, Just intonation is virtually bound to involve more than one wolf 5th, including one among the diatonic notes, for instance D–A or G–D.
Apart from the context of tuning systems, the term ‘wolf’ is used to refer to certain individual notes which, owing to the structure of an instrument, are too loud or too soft or difficult to play quite in tune, compared with other notes. This kind of wolf is due to an irregularity in the resonance of the instrument which either enhances or absorbs (damps) one particular note, or to a strong and sharply defined resonance frequency that happens to be slightly sharper or flatter than some note of the scale. The latter situation is often found at the major 6th or perhaps 7th above the open G-string of the cello, and is sometimes rectified by squeezing the body of the instrument with the knees or by attaching a ‘wolf mute’ to the G-string behind the bridge (see W. Güth: ‘The Wolf Note in the Cello’, The Strad, xc, 1979, pp.355–7, 434–5); in violins of poor craftsmanship a wolf is often found an octave above the open G-string. On the old French (and also English) bassoon, the a was characteristically weak and unstable because its hole was particularly small and high up on the butt joint. Another classic example occurred on the old valved french horn in F, where frequently either the b' or b' (notated f'' or f'') would be weaker than adjacent semitones, and a strong lip was needed to avoid ‘cracking’ the note. When a pipe organ is placed in a resonant building, some notes are liable to be emphasized by this resonance, and these are softened during regulation by slightly closing the foot-holes.
GUY OLDHAM, MARK LINDLEY
Wolf, Alois [Louis] Joseph Anton Balthasar
(b Vienna, 7 Jan 1775; d Iaşi, Romania, c1819). Austrian guitarist. The first native Viennese to achieve prominence as a guitarist, he was essentially an amateur, since his profession was that of an imperial court accountant. Wolf married the pianist Anna Mrasek in 1802, and gave concerts with her until her death in 1809. His last public guitar concert in Vienna was on 15 March 1810 (reviewed in AMZ, xii, 476), when he played the ‘double’ (two-necked) guitar. Shortly afterwards the more skilful Italian guitarist Mauro Giuliani seems to have eclipsed Wolf (Hanslick, i, 257), hastening the latter's departure from Vienna in 1812. Wolf gave concerts in the eastern reaches of the Austrian Empire until his death. About two dozen pieces by him were published in Vienna (c1800–12), comprising variations, dances, potpourris etc. for solo guitar, and duets for guitar and piano, some composed jointly with Anna Mrasek.
E.Hanslick: Geschichte des Concertwesens in Wien (Vienna, 1869/R)
J.Zuth: Handbuch der Laute und Gitarre (Vienna, 1926–8/R) [mentions an MS biography of Wolf in A-Wgm]
A.Weinmann: Beiträge zur Geschichte des Alt-Wiener Musikverlages, 2nd ser.: Verleger (Vienna, 1950–85)
THOMAS F. HECK
Wolf, Ernst Wilhelm
(b Grossen Behringen, bap. 25 Feb 1735; d Weimar, 29 or 30 Nov 1792). German composer. By the age of seven he was skilled in the practice of thoroughbass. He attended the Gymnasien at Eisenach and Gotha and became a choir prefect. In Gotha he was fascinated by works of Graun and C.P.E. Bach and participated in concerts at the court; when one of his works was performed in 1752, Bach praised it. Encouraged by his elder brother, Ernst Friedrich Wolf (a composer, organist and pupil of G.H. Stölzel), he went to the University of Jena in 1755 and there became the director of the collegium musicum, for which he composed a number of works including the cantata Streit zwischen Phöbus und Pan (1758) for the 200th anniversary of the university. When he went to Leipzig in 1758 his reputation increased further in the circle of J.F. Doles and J.A. Hiller. After a period in Naumburg as music teacher to the von Ponickau family, Wolf set off for Italy but ended his journey in Weimar as music tutor to Duchess Anna Amalia's sons; at Weimar he became the court Konzertmeister (1761), organist (1763) and Kapellmeister (1772). In 1770 he married the chamber music singer and harpsichordist Maria Carolina Benda (seeBenda family (7)), with whom he made a concert tour to Berlin; Wolf was also related to J.F. Reichardt. It is uncertain whether, at the instigation of the duchess, Wolf refused an offer from Frederick the Great of Prussia to succeed C.P.E. Bach. He remained in Weimar until his death.
Wolf was a leading figure at the Weimar court and was in close contact with members of the Musenhof (including Wieland, Goethe, Herder, von Einsiedel, von Seckendorff, Kotzebue, Bertuch and Musäus) and with the duchess herself. He devoted himself above all to creating new modes of expression, and despite some conventional elements his works were known far beyond Weimar during his lifetime. He wrote about 20 Singspiele and numerous pieces for the church and court. The Singspiele are typical of the period in Weimar: Das Rosenfest, Die Dorfdeputierten and Le monde de la lune show the influence of Rousseau and Hiller; Die treuen Köhler, Der Abend im Walde and Ehrlichkeit und Liebe are encumbered with modish and ephemeral features in their idyllic conception of nature. Occasionally, apart from galant phrases, his sensitivity leads to shallowness (e.g. the song Röschen, Gretchen, Lieschen, Hännchen); this corresponds to his imitation of popular elements. However, Friedlaender's assertion that Wolf's melodies are ‘insignificant [and] unattractive’ is only partly correct. In Die Dorfdeputierten folksong elements (as in the trio ‘Ein Hund, ein Kätzchen’, with its ‘Wau, wau’ and ‘Miau, miau’ imitations, and the laughing chorus) are mingled with Singspiel formulae reminiscent of Mozart (e.g. ‘Süsse Hoffnung, Tochter des Himmels’). A simplicity achieved through doubling, monotonous superficial repetitions and the use of a continuo characterizes the other dramatic works and some of the secular cantatas (e.g. Polyxena and Serafina).
Wolf's church music, including over 30 motets, Passions, cantatas and choruses, shows the early influence of Graun and C.P.E. Bach. The Osterkantate is notable for its expansive conception, with a double choir, and a mixture of Empfindsamkeit and traditional thoroughbass techniques. Wolf's instrumental works are more important and show his proximity to the Mannheim school. He was an excellent keyboard player and, again reflecting the influence of C.P.E. Bach, used differentiated Affekte and Manieren in his keyboard and chamber pieces. In contrast to Bach, however, he preferred simpler and more symmetrical structures in accordance with contemporary Classical style.
Wolf's writings on music were directed primarily at amateurs, although they were acclaimed even in specialist circles. His aesthetic ideas, while embracing elements of Empfindsamkeit and Classical style, reflect the ideals of old-fashioned counterpoint; he recommends the preludes and fugues of J.S. Bach and vocal scores of Handel to students. In the climate of Classicism, however, his style of composition was considered old-fashioned. At the height of his career Wolf's rate of composition slowed and he became increasingly depressed.
Das Gärtnermädchen (comische Oper, 3, K.A. Musäus), Weimar, Schloss, 1769, vs (Weimar, 1774)
Das Rosenfest (operetta, 3, G.E. Heermann, after C.-S. Favart), Weimar, Schloss, 4 Sept 1770, vs (Berlin, 1771, rev. 2/1775)
Die Dorfdeputierten (komische Oper, 3, Heermann, after C. Goldoni), Weimar, Schloss, 10 Feb 1772, vs (Weimar, 1773)
Die treuen Köhler (comische Oper, 2, Heermann), Weimar, Schloss, 14 July 1772, vs (Weimar, 1774)
Der Abend im Walde (comische Oper, 2, Heermann), Weimar, Schloss, 10 Dec 1773, vs (Riga, 1775)
Das grosse Loos (op, 2, F.J. Bertuch, after Favart), Gotha, Schlosstheater im Rathause, 2 Sept 1774, vs (Berlin, 1776)
Superba (K.A. von Seckendorff), Weimar, 30 Jan 1785
Die Zauberirrungen, oder Die Irrtümer der Zauberei (Schauspiel mit Gesang, 2, F.H. von Einsiedel), Weimar, 24 Oct 1785
Erwin und Elmire (Schauspiel mit Gesang, 2, J.W. von Goethe), Weimar, 1785
Der Eremit auf Formentara (Schauspiel mit Gesang, 2, A. von Kotzebue), Weimar, Hof, 26 Nov 1786
Le monde de la lune (komische Oper, 3, after Goldoni), ?unperf., D-Dl
Sacred (most in SWl): Osterkantate (J.G. Herder), 1781 (Dessau, 1782); 8 other cants., 5 orats, most on Passion texts; 1 sacred conc.; several songs, choruses; Motetten und Arien, i (Halle, 1787), lost
Secular: Serafina (cant., Wieland), S, orch, 1775 (Leipzig, 1777); Polyxena (cant., F.J. Bertuch), 1776 (Leipzig and Weimar, 1776); other cants., incl. Streit zwischen Phöbus und Pan, 1758, lost; Wiegenliederchen für deutsche Ammen mit Melodien (Bertuch) (Riga, 1775); 51 Lieder der besten deutschen Dichter mit Melodien (Weimar, 1784)
c25 hpd/pf concs.: 2 (Riga, 1777); 1 as op.3 (Berlin, 1783); 1 as op.4 (Berlin, 1783), arr. 2 hpd, Dlb; 2 as opp.7–8 (Lyons, n.d.); 5 (Breslau, 1781–5), arr. 2 hpd, Dlb; others, lost
‘Was ist wahre Musik und wie erhält man sie?’, Teutsche Merkur no.1 (1783), 231–40
Auch eine Reise aber nur eine kleine musikalische in den Monaten Junius, Julius und August 1782 zum Vergnügen angestellt und auf Verlangen beschrieben (Weimar, 1784)
Vorbericht als eine Anleitung zum guten Vortrag beim Klavier-Spielen (Leipzig, 1785) [in Sonatine, 4 affectvolle Sonaten, 13mal variirtes Thema]
Musikalischer Unterricht für Liebhaber und diejenigen, welche die Musik treiben und lehren wollen (Dresden, 1788)
J.F.Reichardt: ‘E.W. Wolf’, Musikalischer Almanach für Deutschland … 1782 (Leipzig, 1781/R), 85
J.N.Forkel: ‘E.W. Wolf’, Musikalischer Almanach für Deutschland … 1783 (Leipzig, 1782/R), 70; 1784 (1783/R), 132–3
J.F.Reichardt: ‘E.W. Wolf’, Berlinisches Archiv der Zeit und ihres Geschmacks, i (1795)
F.von Schlichtergroll: Nekrolog der Teutschen (Gotha, 1802–6); ed. R. Schaal asMusiker-Nekrologe (Kassel, 1954)
M.Friedlaender: Das deutsche Lied im 18. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart and Berlin, 1902/R)
C.Hogwood: ‘A Supplement to C.P.E. Bach's Versuch: E.W. Wolf’s Anleitung of 1785’, C.P.E. Bach studies, ed. S.L. Clark (Oxford, 1988), 133–58
V.Funk: ‘“Auch eine Reise aber nur eine kleine musikalische”: zum zweihundertsten Todestag des Weimarer Komponisten Ernst Wilhelm Wolf’, Musica, xlvi (1992), 299–303
V.Funk: ‘Ernst Wilhelm Wolfs Kontrastprinzip im Quintett für Cembalo, Flöte und Streicher’, Klavierkammermusik mit Bläsern und Streichern in der zweiten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts (Kassel, 1995), 72–100