(flc1170–1220). German poet. On the basis of his epics Parzival (?c1200) and Willehalm (?c1215) he counts as probably the greatest medieval German poet and was named one of the 12 ‘alte Meister’ by the Meistersinger (seeMeistergesang). His seven surviving lyric poems (ed. in Kraus) have no music. Two melodies are connected with Wolfram, however. The Schwarzer Ton is ascribed to him in one 14th-century manuscript (for facs. of three sources seeSources, MS, fig.26, fig.27, and fig.28; for comparative edn. seeTon (i), ex.1). It was often used by the Meistersinger. The other melody is for his fragmentary epic Titurel (? after 1217) with a complicated four-line stanza form that was much used for later poems. The melody appears with one of the earliest of these, Albrecht von Scharfenberg’s late 13th-century Jüngerer Titurel (A-Wn 2675, f.1v; clearest edn in Taylor, i, 107–8); and a later version, with several significant differences but enough similarity to contribute considerably to our understanding of its nature, appears with the Monk of Salzburg’s song Beschnyten wirdiclichen wort in the Kolmarer Liederhandschrift (D-Mbs cgm 4997, f.662; ed. in Gennrich, p.194). Further varied, it appears in several later Meistersinger manuscripts. Its importance is that it is one of the few known examples of a melody appropriate for epic singing and by far the most intricate such melody.
(b Schwarzenbach am Wald, Upper Franconia, 17 Dec 1854; d Samaden, Grisons, 8 May 1919). German conductor, concert organizer, teacher and composer. He became an elementary teacher at the Altdorf teachers' seminary. In 1875 he was appointed second music teacher at the Bamberg teacher's seminary. He then studied in Munich at the Königliche Musikschule with Rheinberger and Franz Wüllner. Humperdinck was a fellow pupil, and they became lifelong friends. Wolfrum returned to the Bamberg seminary from 1879 to 1884, when he was appointed to teach music at the University of Heidelberg. He became music director at the university in 1885, and in the same year founded and directed the Akademischer Gesangverein and the Bachverein, which made Heidelberg an important musical centre. Wolfrum was made professor of music history in 1898. His pupils included Fritz Stein, Karl Hasse and Hermann Poppen.
Wolfrum was a champion of the works of Liszt, Bruckner, Strauss and Reger. He conducted all of Reger's works composed between 1898 and 1916, including many premières, and with Reger gave many two-piano Bach recitals. He revived a number of Bach's works which had been neglected for two centuries, including cantatas and oratorios. He gave the first German performances of choral works by Elgar, with whom he corresponded. He also recognized the merit of E.T.A. Hoffmann's Undine long before Pfitzner and anticipated Riemann’s championing of J.C. Bach and the Stamitzes. He declined invitations to conduct at festivals in Cologne, Bayreuth and Munich, remaining loyal to Heidelberg until his death: the climax of his 35 years there were the festivals of 1909, 1911 and 1913. In 1911 he was awarded a doctorate for his thesis on evangelical church music. He was also a campaigner for composers' performing rights.
His major composition was the oratorio Ein Weihnachtsmysterium op.31 (1899). The inclusion of a Gregorian melody and several Christmas carols, as well as pastoral melodies of his own, gives the work a folk-like character. It is characteristic of late 19th-century Christmas music.
Wolfrum's brother Karl (b Schwarzenbach am Wald, 14 Aug 1856; dNeustadt an der Aisch, 29 May 1937) was a respected teacher and composer of organ music.
opp.1–12 published in Heidelberg, opp.13–32 published in Leipzig
Choral with orch: Das grosse Halleluja (F.G. Klopstock), ode, op.22 (1886); Ein Weihnachtsmysterium, op.31 (1899); Festmusik zur Zentenarfeier der Universität Heidelberg, Bar, male vv, orch, op.32 (1903)