Wolff Jakob Lauffensteiner
Wolff Jakob Lauffensteiner (1676–1754) was an eminent Austrian lutenist active in the Bavarian court where he spent much of his career in service to the Elector of Bavaria in Munich. Some of Lauffensteiner's compositions for lute have survived.
Wolff Jacob Lauffensteiner was born in Steyr. Only his baptism date is known - 28 April 1676. He died in Munich 26 March 1754. His father, who bore the same name, was the towerkeeper in Steyr.
Ca. 1709 he had obtained a position of a lutenist in Graz, and from 1712 he was in the service of the Bavarian court. In 1715 he entered the private service of the Duke Ferdinand. In 1739, on the duke Ferdinand's death, he was granted a pension. He was later appointed a chamber counsellor (Hofkammerrat) by the Duke Clemens August, Archbishop of Cologne, for his services to the electoral House of Bavaria.
Lauffensteiner's extant works for both solo lute and chamber ensembles typically take the forms of suite or partita. His music is generally highly idiomatic for the lute, in the German style (i.e. uniting traditional French forms, textures and ornaments with italianate cantabile melody over a basso continuo line. In total over 100 movements survive.
Lauffensteiner is seen as a stylistic precursor to Silvius Leopold Weiss, to whom his music is frequently misattributed in manuscript sources – illustrative of its high quality in the estimation of his contemporaries.