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Hugo Wolf

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Hugo Wolf was a 19th Century Austrian composer and a follower in the musical trends started by Richard Wagner.

Wolf was considered a child prodigy, and was taught by his father how to play the piano and violin beginning at age four. Other subjects in his schooling failed to hold his interest as tightly as music did, leading to him being dismissed as "wholly inadequate" by tutors. In spite of their dismissals, he went on to compose many songs and two operas, Der Corregidor and Manuel Venegas, but the latter opera went unfinished due to his vastly deteriorating mental state. He was a troubled man, known for bouts with depression, as well as bursts of inspiration in his creative periods. Sadly, he no longer composed songs after 1898 when he suffered a mental collapse brought on by syphilis.

In 1888, he took the Romantic poem, Elfenlied, by Eduard Mörike and set it to music in a collection of songs called the Mörike-Lieder, which contained other poems by Mörike. In the Elfen Lied manga, Nozomi teaches Elfenlied to Nyu, who, as Lucy, remembers it and sings it as she heals the dying Kouta at the expense of her body's stability and integrity.

While Wolf's life, times, downfall and death echo those of many a gifted sort (such as HP Lovecraft, who had many unfinished works due to a deteriorating mental state), in particular it is the dismissal of school officials, mental troubles, dogged pursuit of his goals, and an early death by illness that most evoke the manga/anime series' main heroine in many ways.


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