Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Wolff, Christian Michael

(b Stettin [now Szczecin in Poland], 1707; d Stettin, 3 Jan 1789). German organist and composer. Both his grandfather Friedrich and his father Christian Friedrich (d October 1721) occupied important musical posts at the church of St Mary’s in Stettin, where he himself was organist for almost 60 years. He spent three years in Berlin (1729–32), and on his return succeeded his former composition teacher, Michael Rohde, as organist of St Mary’s. In 1745 he applied for the additional position of castle organist: ‘An organist cannot live on 100 gulden without additional work. In any event the cantor and Musicus instrumentalis [of St Mary’s] also go up to the castle since its church service falls within an hour of their own’. Wolff took part in the dedication of two new organs, at the castle in 1751 and at St Mary’s in 1776. For the latter he composed a cantata, possibly one of many that have not survived.

Scarcely six months after the composer’s death St Mary’s caught fire during a violent thunderstorm and was destroyed. Wolff’s reputation was almost as transient, though he was held in high esteem in Stettin. The publication of his music as far afield as Berlin and Leipzig also indicates a certain renown. His attractive collection of six sonatas might well revive his name today. Except for the fourth sonata, which can be played by harp and violetta or viola da gamba, Wolff’s choice of instruments (harpsichord and violin or flute) is conventional, but his keyboard writing is not. The highly decorated style is sometimes almost brilliant, and the melodic instrument does not merely duplicate the keyboard part; the contrapuntal art of the organist is never far absent. His collection of organ preludes for church use, on the other hand, are rarely more than perfunctory examples of their kind with chromatic tendencies. His surviving vocal music includes an unpretentious collection of little songs, the extended motet Unendlicher Gott and a cantata in the Italian style, Gott, ich bin in dir erfreut.


Andantino and chorale, Freu dich sehr, in Sammlung kleiner Clavier- und Singstücke (Leipzig, 1774)

Motet, Unendlicher Gott, in Vierstimmige Motetten und Arien, ed. J.A. Hiller (Leipzig, 1776)

Sei sonate, hpd, vn/fl/violetta (Stettin, 1776)

Sammlung von Oden und Liedern (Stettin, 1777)

Six duettes, 2 fl, op.1 (Berlin, c1778)

Orgelübung-Vorspiele vor funfzig Melodien bekannter Kirchen-Gesänge (Leipzig, 1782)

Cantata, Gott, ich bin in dir erfreut, B, hn, 2 vn, bc, D-Bsb


C. Fredrich: ‘Die ehemalige Marienkirche zu Stettin und ihr Besitz’, Baltische Studien, new ser., xxi (1918), 143–246

W. Freytag: Musikgeschichte der Stadt Stettin im 18. Jahrhundert (Greifswald, 1936)


Wolff, Christoph

(b Solingen, 24 May 1940). American musicologist of German birth. He studied the organ and the harpsichord at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. He took a performer’s diploma at the University of Berlin in 1963 and the doctorate at the University of Erlangen in 1966, where his professors included Adrio, Ruhnke, Smend and Stäblein. He began teaching at the University of Erlangen in 1966 and he joined the editorial board of the Bach new collected edition in 1967; he then taught at the University of Toronto (1968–70). After working as professor of music at Columbia University (1970–76) and visiting professor at Princeton University (1973–5), he was appointed Professor in 1976 at Harvard University, where he has been William Powell Mason Professor (from 1985), chair of the music department (1980–88; 1990–91) and graduate dean (from 1992). He has been on the editorial boards of the collected editions of Samuel Scheidt (general editor, from 1975), Buxtehude (from 1980), C.P.E. Bach (1982–97), Brahms (from 1983), and the series Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era. Together with H.-J. Schulze, he was editor of the Bach Jahrbuch, 1974–91, and he has been on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Musicological Society (1979–83), Studies in Music History (general editor with L. Lockwood, from 1983), the Harvard Dictionary of Music (1986, 1996), Musical Quarterly (from 1991), Bach Perspectives (from 1995) and the Basler Jahrbuch für historische Musikpraxis (from 1997). His affiliations with professional societies include serving as AMS chair (1981) and as a member of the executive committee of the Neue Bachgesellschaft, Leipzig (from 1982). He was awarded the Dent Medal in 1978 and was made honorary professor at Freiburg University in 1990.

Wolff’s interests include early keyboard music and music of the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly the works of J.S. Bach and Mozart. His Bach research has been particularly significant; in his monograph on the stile antico in Bach’s music he drew on biographical data, stylistic analysis and performing practices to show Bach’s knowledge and application of the style and to give a probable chronology of compositions employing it. His later writings continue to investigate Bach’s biography, the sources of Bach’s music and the related challenges they pose for an editor, as well as questions of performing practice. He has also published important works on Mozart, including a monograph on the Requiem (1991). A prolific author and dedicated music editor, Wolff may be considered one of the most important Bach scholars of his generation.


‘Die Rastrierungen in den Originalhandschriften Joh. Seb. Bachs und ihre Bedeutung für die diplomatische Quellenkritik’, Festschrift für Friedrich Smend (Berlin, 1963), 80–92

Der stile antico in der Musik Johann Sebastian Bachs: Studien zu Bachs Spätwerk (diss., U. of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 1966; Wiesbaden, 1968)

‘Der Terminus “Ricercar” in Bachs Musikalischem Opfer’, BJb 1967, 70–81

‘Zur musikalischen Vorgeschichte des Kyrie aus Johann Sebastian Bachs Messe in h-moll’, Festschrift Bruno Stäblein, ed. M. Ruhnke (Kassel, 1967), 316–26

‘Conrad Paumanns Fundamentum organisandi und seine verschiedenen Fassungen’, AMw, xxv (1968), 196–222

‘Die Architektur von Bachs Passacaglia’, Acta organologica, iii (1969), 183–94

‘Ordnungsprinzipien in den Originaldrucken Bachscher Werke’, Bach-Interpretationen, ed. M. Geck (Göttingen, 1969), 144–67

‘Publikationen liturgischer Orgelmusik vom 16. bis ins 18. Jahrhundert’, Kerygma und Melos: Christhard Mahrenholz 70 Jahre, ed. W. Blankenberg and others (Kassel, 1970), 258–86

‘New Research on Bach’s Musical Offering’, MQ, lvii (1971), 379–408

‘Johann Sebastian Bachs Sterbechoral: kritische Fragen zu einem Mythos’, Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Music in Honor of Arthur Mendel, ed. R.L. Marshall (Kassel and Hackensack, NJ, 1974), 283–97

‘Bach’s Handexemplar of the Goldberg Variations: a New Source’, JAMS, xxix (1976), 224–41

‘Die Familie’, ‘Lebensstationen und Wirkungsstätten’, ‘Dienstherren und Auftraggeber’, Johann Sebastian Bach: Zeit, Leben, Wirken, ed. W. Dömling and B. Schwendowius (Kassel, 1976; Eng. trans., 1977), 51–68, 69–82, 83–96

‘Zur Chronologie der Klavierkonzert-Kadenzen Mozarts’, Mozart und seine Umwelt: Salzburg 1976, 235–46

ed.: The String Quartets of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven: Cambridge, MA, 1979 [incl. ‘Creative Exuberance vs. Critical Choice: Thoughts on Mozart's Quartet Fragments’, 191–210]

‘Textkritische Bemerkungen zum Originaldruck der Bachschen Partiten’, BJb 1979, 65–74

‘Bach's Cantata “Ein feste Burg”: History and Performance Practice’, American Choral Review, xxiv/2–3 (1982), 27–38

‘Das Hamburger Buxtehude-Bild: ein Beitrag zur musikalischen Ikonographie und zum Umkreis von Johann Adam Reinken’, 800 Jahre Musik in Lübeck, ed. A. Grassmann and W. Neugebauer (Lübeck, 1982), 64–70; Eng. trans. in Boston Early Music Festival and Exhibition 1987, Boston, 1987, 102–112 [programme book]; rev. in Studien zur Musikgeschichte der Hansestadt Lübeck, ed. A. Edler and H.W. Schwab (Kassel, 1989), 44–62

‘Schubert's “Death and the Maiden”: Analytical and Explanatory Notes on the Song D531 and the Quartet D810’, Schubert Studies: Problems of Style and Chronology, ed. E. Badura-Skoda and P. Branscombe (Cambridge, 1982), 143–72

‘Von der Quellenkritik zur musikalischen Analyse: Beobachtungen an Brahms' Klavierquartett A-Dur Op.26’, Brahms-Analysen: Kiel 1983, 150–65

‘Mozart's Messiah: “The Spirit of Handel” from van Swieten's Hands’, Music in Civilization: Essays in Honor of Paul Henry Lang, ed. E. Strainchamps and M.R. Maniates (New York, 1984), 1–14

ed.: Bach Bibliographie (Bach Jahrbuch 1905–1984) (Kassel, 1985)

with H.-J. Schulze: Bach Compendium: analytisch-bibliographisches Repertorium der Werke Johann Sebastian Bachs (Frankfurt, 1985–)

‘Bach's Leipzig Chamber Music’, EMc, xiii (1985), 165–75

‘Johann Adam Reinken und Johann Sebastian Bach: zum Kontext des Bachschen Frühwerks’, BJb, lxxi (1985), 99–118; Eng. trans., rev., in J.S. Bach as Organist: his Instruments, Music, and Performance Practices, ed. G.B. Stauffer and E. May (Bloomington, IN, 1986), 57–80

ed.: Orgel, Orgelmusik und Orgelspiel: Festschrift für Michael Schneider (Kassel, 1985)

‘Forme musicali e strutture drammatica nella Passione secondo Matteo’, Ritorno à Bach, ed. E. Povoledo (Venice, 1986), 89–99; Eng. trans., rev. in Bach: the Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, xix (1988), 6–20; rev. Ger. version in Johann Sebastian Bach: Matthäus-Passion bwv244: Vorträge der Sommerakademie J.S. Bach 1985, ed. U. Prinz (Kassel, 1990), 94–109

ed.: Johann Sebastian Bachs Spätwerk und dessen Umfeld: Duisburg 1986 [incl. ‘Bachs Spätwerk: Versuch einer Definition’, 15–22; ‘Anmerkungen zu Bach und “Cleofide” (Dresden 1731)’, 167–9]

‘Vivaldi's Compositional Art and the Process of “Musical Thinking”’, Nuovi studi vivaldiani: Venice 1987, 1–17

ed., with D. Gable: A Life for New Music: Selected Papers of Paul Fromm (Cambridge, MA, 1988)

‘Musikalische “Gedankenfolge” und “Einheit des Stoffes”: zu Mozarts Klaviersonate in F-Dur (KV 533 + 494)’, Das musikalische Kunstwerk: Festschrift Carl Dahlhaus, ed. H. Danuser and others (Laaber, 1988), 441–53

‘From Berlin to Łódz: the Spitta Collection Resurfaces’, Notes, xlvi (1989–90), 311–27

ed., with H.-J. Schulze: Johann Sebastian Bach und der süddeutsche Raum: Munich 1990 [incl. ‘“Intricate Kirchen-Stücke” und “Dresdener Liederchen”: Bach und die Instrumentalisierung der Vokalmusik’, 19–23]

Bach: Essays on his Life and Music (Cambridge, MA, 1991)

Mozarts Requiem: Geschichte, Musik, Dokumente, Partitur des Fragments (Kassel, 1991; Eng. trans., rev., as Mozart’s Requiem: Historical and Analytical Studies, Documents, Score)

‘Über die Wandlungen des Klangideals der Orgel in der Musikgeschichte’, Acta organologica, xxii (1991), 155–66

‘Die musikalischen Formen der Johannes-Passion’, Johann Sebastian Bach: Johannes-Passion, ed. U. Prinz (Kassel, 1993), 128–41

‘Das Trio A-Dur bwv1025: eine Lautensonate von Silvius Leopold Weiss bearbeitet und erweitert von Johann Sebastian Bach’, BJb 1993, 47–67; see also ‘Addenda et Corrigenda’, BJb 1995, 60 only

‘Vollendet und fragmentarisch: über Mozarts Schaffen der letzten Lebensjahre’, Jb Alte Musik, ii (1993), 61–87

‘“A 1, 2, 3, 4, et 5 parties”: Gattungsmerkmale und Satzarten in Mozarts Streichquintetten’, Mozarts Streichquintette: Beiträge zum musikalischen Satz, zum Gattungskontext und zu Quellen fragen, ed. C. Eisen and W.-D. Seiffert (Stuttgart, 1994), 13–27

‘“Et incarnatus” and “Crucifixus”: the Earliest and the Latest Settings of Bach's B minor Mass’, Eighteenth-Century Music in Theory and Practice: Essays in Honor of Alfred Mann, ed. M.A. Parker (New York, 1994), 1–17

‘An Unknown Organ Tablature at Harvard: a Preliminary Report’, The Organist as Scholar: Essays in Honor of Russell Saunders, ed. K.J. Snyder (New York, 1994), 119–32

‘Bach und die Idee musikalischer Vollkommenheit’, JbSIM 1995, 9–23

ed.: De wereld van de Bach cantates, i: Johann Sebastian Bachs geestelijke cantates: van Arnstadt tot Köthen (Utrecht, 1995; It. trans., 1995; Ger. trans., 1996; Eng. trans. as Early Sacred Cantatas, 1997) [incl. ‘Die vor-Leipziger Kantaten: Repertoire und Kontext’, 13–27; ‘Chor und Instrumentarium’, 157–67]; ii: Johann Sebastian Bachs weredlijke cantates (Utrecht, 1996; Ger. trans., 1997; Eng. trans., forthcoming) [incl. ‘Weltliche Kantaten: Repertoire und Kontext’, 13–31]; Die Welt der Bach-Kantaten, iii: Johann Sebastian Bachs Leipziger Kirchenkantaten (Stuttgart and Kassel, 1999)

ed.: The New Bach Reader: a Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents (New York, 1997) [enlarged edn of H.T. David and A. Mendel, eds.: The Bach Reader, New York, 1945, 2/1966]

‘Zum Quellenwert der Neumeister-Sammlung: Bachs Orgelchoral “Der Tag der ist so freudenreich” bwv719’, BJb 1997, 155–67

ed., with R. Brinkmann: ‘Driven into Paradise’: the Musical Migration from Nazi Germany to the United States (Berkeley, forthcoming)


Johann Sebastian Bach: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, VIII/i: Kanons, Musikalisches Opfer (Kassel, 1974); V/ii: Zweiter Teil der Klavierübung: bwv 971, 831, 831a; Vierter Teil der Klavierübung: bwv 988 [Goldberg Variations] Vierzehn Kanons: bwv 1087 (1997) [with W. Emery]; I/viii/1: Kantaten zum Sonntag Estomihi (1992); I/viii/2: Kantaten zu den Sonntagen Oculi und Palmarum (1997)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Konzerte für ein oder mehrere Klaviere und Orchester mit Kadenzen, Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, V/xv/2–3 (Kassel, 1976) [incl. k246, 271, 365, 413–15];

P. Hindemith: Cardillac [1926 version], Sämtliche Werke, II/iii (Mainz, 1979–80)

with E. Gessner and C. Mahrenholz: S. Scheidt: Liebliche Kraftblümlein, Werke, xvi (Leipzig, 1981)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Orgelchoräle der Neumeister-Sammlung (New Haven, CT, 1985, 2/1986); Kunst der Fuge bwv 1080, i–ii (Frankfurt, 1987)

with C. Zacharias: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sämtliche Klavier Konzerte: Urtext Ausgabe für 2 Klaviere (Frankfurt, 1991–3)

with D.R. Melamed: ‘Anguish of Hell and Peace of Soul’: a 1623 Collection of Sixteen Motets on Psalm 116 (Cambridge, MA, 1994)


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