Dom Sebastian Wolff OSB, RIP

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Southern Comfort
Posts: 2017
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

Dom Sebastian Wolff OSB, RIP

Post by Southern Comfort »

Dom Sebastian Wolff, a monk of Buckfast Abbey and for many years the Abbey Organist, died peacefully yesterday morning at the age of 93 after a brief illness.

Born in County Galway, Ireland, of German émigré parents, his father was organist of Loughrea Cathedral, so organ playing was in his blood. He joined the community at Buckfast in 1948, and later studied organ with Lionel Dakers at Exeter Cathedral, gaining his FRCO in 1962. Shortly after this, he was appointed music advisor to the diocese of Plymouth to assist parishes in the changeover from Latin to English following the Second Vatican Council. It was then that he began to compose, writing settings of the vernacular Mass, to be followed by choral music (including a Requiem) and organ music that often requires a solid technique. He was also noted not just for "normal" responsorial psalm settings but for psalm settings using innovative forms. Some of his organ music is available from the Buckfast Abbey shop.

Dom Sebastian was not only known for his musical gifts but as a caring parish priest in the locality. He also had a stint as Prior of the Abbey, and at one point in his life was acting Abbot during an interregnum.

A brief biography of Dom Sebastian was published in 2018, entitled Rebel With a Cause: Dom Sebastian Wolff, OSB: Monk, Musician, Pastor.

A delightfully hospitable man who never lost his native German/Irish accent and whose handwriting was very distinctive, in his younger days Dom Sebastian took great pleasure in showing visitors round the Buckfast Tonic Winery. He was also a great encourager of younger organists and composers. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!
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Re: Dom Sebastian Wolff OSB, RIP

Post by organist »

Lovely man and he gave me some of his organ music. RiP
Southern Comfort
Posts: 2017
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

Re: Dom Sebastian Wolff OSB, RIP

Post by Southern Comfort »

Having now obtained and read a copy of the biography mentioned above, I have to say that it is probably the worst-written biography I have ever read. Being self-published, there was no editor to pull it into shape. The result is just awful.
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