SYPHILITIC PROGRESSIVE PARALYSIS IN THE PATHOGRAPHY OF TWO COMPOSERS: HUGO WOLF AND PHYSICIAN AND COMPOSER JOSIP IPAVEC

  • Pavle Kornhauser

Abstract

This overview is devoted to two composers born in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy who beside their Slovene origin, share the tragic fate caused by syphilis-related progressive paralysis. The music opus of Hugo Wolf (Slovenj Gradec, 1860 – Vienna, 1903) consists of about 300 solo songs on the verses of the most famous contemporary poets, numerous piano works, the symphonic poem “Penthesilea”, and the opera “Der Corregidor”. Dr. Josip Ipavec (Šentjur near Celje, 1873-1921), beside studying medicine, also worked on improving his theoretical knowledge in the field of music. Later on, as a qualified physician, he also conducted choral concerts and string orchestras. Ipavec is also the author of numerous successful solo- and choir songs, piano compositions, and the first Slovene ballet, the “Pierrot” (1904). His most famous work is the opera (operetta) “The Frivolous Princess” (1911). Both composers died deranged, alone, neglected, “away from the eye”. Wolf ended in a straitjacket at a psychiatric hospital, Ipavec froze to death in a barn not far from his home, both at an age when their creativity should have been at its peak.

 

Key words: History of music in the 19th and 20th century, composers, pathography, syphilitic progressive paralysis

Published
2018-04-27