ERNST WILHELM WOLF (1735 - 1792)
Ernst Wilhelm Wolf served for 30 years, from 1761, in Weimar, where he became Court Kapellmeister in 1772. His task, under Duchess Anna Amalia, was to raise orchestral and musical standards to match the dramatic ambitions and interests that she fostered. His career brought some conflict with Goethe, after the latter’s arrival in Weimar in 1775. He married a singer, daughter of Franz Benda.
Vocal and Instrumental Music
Wolf’s vocal compositions include oratorios, motets, cantatas, and a number of secular songs. For the stage he wrote Singspiel and operas, largely first staged in Weimar. His instrumental music includes 26 surviving symphonies, a number of cembalo concertos, quartets, trios, and works for solo keyboard. The symphonies often found a place in the theatre, as overtures or entr’actes.