Born in 1851 [according to
Reyzen's "Lexicon" -- 1853] in Mishmienitze, near
Stanislawow, Galicia. His father was a city cantor, a
good musician with a great love of music, which he had
also planned for his seven sons.
Driven by income concerns,
the family settled in Tarnopol, where they organized
themselves as the "Wolfstal Band".
W. as a child sand with his
brothers in a chorus with his father. Thanks to W.'s
compositions, the band, which also toured across British
and American courts, was very popular in Galicia,
especially over in Tarnopol, where it played yearlong.
Almost an auto-didact in
music, W. received a certain musical education, only
during his military service as a military musician. In
that time, W. composed a series of military marches,
valsn in other dance numbers, which were performed
for the military orchestras almost across the entire
In order that his brothers
could perform his compositions, W. was forced to send
the compositions to foreign composers, and initially
when they were rewritten there in a foreign name, were
the compositions included in their brother's repertoire.
W. did not have these
compositions published, and only several of them rose
through the tradition of some orchestras.
The greatest part of them
were forgotten, or remain in the name of other
The true source of W.'s
talent, however, showed first in Yiddish theatre. As the
orchestra conductor of Yakov Ber Gimpel's troupe in
Lemberg, W. wrote compositios for the operettas "Der
tayvl als reter" by Moshe Schorr, "R' Yehuda HaLevi",
"Bat yerushalayim" and "Bustnay" by Yitzhak Auerbach, "Der
komisher bal" and "Di melukhah shba". These operettas
had, the majority of them due to W.'s music, were kept
yearlong in the repertoire of Yiddish theatre in Eastern
and Western Europe.
W.'s operetta "Di dray
matonus (The Three Gifts)" (dramatized by Ber Hart,
according to Peretz's popular history with the same
"Musical oyfgefast as
classical operettas after the example of Johann Strauss
and scribe, these works with his symphonic overtures,
their horns and entirely constructed finales, the
treasured melodies and the Yiddish tone, had.W. ..[Reyzen's
M. E. from
Jacob Mestel and Sh. E. from Adolf Gertner.
Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish
Literature", Vol. I, pp. 910-13.
Dov Zavadzky -- Chona volfstal, "Tagblat",
Lemberg, 15 March 1924.
B. Tsegrovski -- Der idisher
folks-kompozitor chona volfstal geshtorbn, "Haynt", Warsaw, 25
Sholem Perlmutter -- Chona
volfstal der shefer fun der idhser operete, "Der tog", New York,
21 January 1925.