Fritz Busch and Dresden [7/15]

First concert tours



The Dresden State Opera at concert tours to Genf in September 1929.
from l. to r.: Otto Erhardt, Rose Pauly Dreesen, Martin Kremer and Fritz Busch (right at tronbone).
© Photo from the Booklet – FritzBuschArchiv


Fritz Busch very successfully undertook the first modern-style tours with the Staatskapelle.
It emerges from his notes that he negotiated with the organizers himself, calculating costs and working out travel details most precisely.
As he wrote to Arthur Tröber in March 1933, he would have liked to travel more with “the Dresden Staatskapelle, which I have brought up and consider the best orchestra“, if the members had not so often been at odds with one another and their financial demands so high.


“To have to defend myself”

Having later also been accused (in connection with his hounding from office) of trying to keep the financial benefits of tours for himself, at the end of March 1933 he explained to Arthur Tröber that on the contrary he had “made considerable financial sacrifices”.


The Dresden State Opera at concert tour to Genf im September 1929. Fritz Busch, Rose Pauly Dreesen, Erna Berger, Otto Erhardt, Martin Kremer. Hinter Busch and Intendant Alfred Reucker. © Photo from Booklet – FritzBuschArchiv

I remind you of the last Berlin concert, which was given to the Staatskapelle at my recommendation,” he wrote, referring to February 1931, when the Brahms Symphony presented on this CD was performed:
I not only waived my conducting fee, but paid the travel expenses out of my pocket, thus losing 3000 marks all told for the Staatskapelle’s sake.
To enable the Tannhäuser film to be made, I gave 500 marks of my fee to the orchestra. In order that the orchestra receive in full the fee due to it for the last concert in Prague, I made out the account, to the best of my recollection, in such a way that I dispensed with a considerable part of the fee due me.

That all surely shows a conductor who cared for his orchestra far beyond musical matters. As he wrote, he never thought that he “would one day have to defend himself against such gross absurdities and distortions“.

Busch and the opera company celebrated triumphs at guest performances in Zurich and Geneva, where he presented the Dresden productions of Intermezzo, Rosenkavalier, Die ägyptische Helena, Die Meistersinger and Figaro, as well as concerts.

Records from “Ägyptischen Helena” with Rose Pauly Dreesen under the direction of Fritz Busch


Busch’s engagement diary listing guest appearances in Switzerland
© Document: FritzBuschArchiv

  next page 8/15


Fritz Busch • A multimedia portrait of a music-maker

  1/15    Introduction
  2/15    The Busch Family
  3/15    “He is the right one!”
→  4/15    In search of great voices
→  5/15    Staatskapelle concerts
→  6/15    Correspondence between Richard Strauss and Fritz Busch  [only in German]
    7/15    First concert tours
  8/15    First Gramophone recordings 1923  “Played into the horn”
  9/15    In Front of a microphone for the first time 1926
10/15   “On Air!”
11/15    Cinema film with photographic sound “Fritz Busch conducts Richard Wagner”
12/15    “Over!”
13/15    Only as a guest
14/15    Welcome home: Sinopoli’s “homage”
15/15    FACTS AND FIGURES The Busch era  [only in German]