- Hugo-Wolf-Werkverzeichnis (HWW): Thematisch-chronologisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke Hugo Wolfs by Margret Jestremski
In their recently released Oxford History of Western Music, College Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), Richard Taruskin and Christopher H. Gibbs note that Hugo Wolf is “remembered today almost exclusively for his extraordinary contribution to the [lied]” (Taruskin and Gibbs, 793). That they make no attempt to explain the nature of this contribution seems to be symptomatic of the current evaluation of Wolf’s historical stature. In his Music in Western Civilization (Boston: Schirmer Cengage, 2010), Craig Wright merely references Wolf in passing, and whereas previous editions of the Norton Anthology of Western Music had included a Wolf song, the fifth and sixth (ed. J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca [New York: W. W. Norton, 2006 and 2010]) do not, although an excerpt of one appears in the two editions of the textbook they accompany. Despite this implied reassessment of Wolf’s historical significance, scholars are still exploring his music. While some, most notably Susan Youens (see, for instance, Hugo Wolf and His Mörike Songs [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000]) tease out the diverse layers of meanings in the texts and music of his lieder, others continue to interrogate his chromatic harmonies. In one of the most recent forays, Matthew BaileyShea analyzes two songs using Robert Bailey’s concept of the double tonic complex; see “The Hexatonic and the Double Tonic: Wolf ’s Christmas Rose,” Journal of Music Theory 51, no. 2 (Fall 2007): 187–210.
Given that the lied dominates Wolf’s output, it is not surprising that the scholarly literature emphasizes this genre. Nevertheless there are other works and other approaches that need to be explored. Unlike most Wolf scholars, Margret Jestremski has concentrated on source studies. Her monograph Hugo Wolf Skizzen und Fragmente: Untersuchungen zur Arbeitsweise (Hildesheim: Olms, 2002), which is based on her dissertation, disproves the myth that Wolf composed in fits of inspiration—a notion that originated with Wolf’s friends and supporters. In addition to cataloguing the manuscript material and discussing some of the sketches of Wolf’s lieder, Jestremski explores the compositional histories of the String Quartet in D minor (HWW 111, 1878–84, revised 1885) and the Intermezzo for String Quartet (HWW 113, 1882–86). Her article “‘In the Heat of Creativity’? Strategies in Hugo Wolf’s Compositional Process” (Musicologica Austriaca 26 : 101–12) provides an English-language overview of some of her findings. Jestremski’s most recent volume, Hugo-Wolf-Werkverzeichnis (HWW): Thematischchronologisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke Hugo Wolfs, represents the culmination of her extensive examination of the sources for Wolf’s compositions.
Unlike many other catalogs, the Hugo-Wolf-Werkverzeichnis is not organized by genre. Instead, all the completed works and fragments are arranged in chronological order, with each work assigned a HWW number from 1 to 169. The main catalog, which spans almost 600 pages, begins with a fragment of an E♭-Major Piano Sonata from 1875 and ends with a movement for a projected III. Italienische Serenade, of late 1897. The dates for each composition are drawn from Wolf’s autographs or the correspondence of the composer with his associates. These dates often represent the completion of a work, and, where relevant, the subsequent historical overview notes the time period of the entire creative process. The catalog is followed by a series of five short appendices describing the sketchbooks; other single sketches, composition plans, and lost works; arrangements of works by other composers; copies of works by other composers; and works falsely attributed to Wolf.
Information within the catalog entry for each work can be accessed through seven indices. The first index lists works arranged by genre. It encompasses completed works as well as sketches and lost works; however, not every work is specifically listed. The collections of lieder, such as the Italienisches Liederbuch, are each given one entry, rather than separate entries for each song. Moreover...