Adolf Busch: The Life of an Honest Musician – Two Volume Revised Edition Set

(2 customer reviews)

ISBN: 9780907689782
Release Date: 2024-04-05
Composer: Adolf Busch
Author: Tully Potter
Series: Musicians' Lives

Volume 1: 1891–1939
Volume 2: 1939–1952; Appendices 1–12
Includes two CDs: Busch the Performer; Busch the Composer
Extent: 1432 pages
Composition: Royal octavo, 2 vols of 702 & 730 pp.
255 b/w illus.

Monumental biography of one of the major musicians of the twentieth century.

Revised edition: Adolf Busch (1891-1952) was an all-round musician and a moral beacon in troubled times. As first violin of the Busch String Quartet, founded in 1912, he was the greatest quartet-player of the last century and he led a famous conductorless orchestra, the Busch Chamber Players. He was also the busiest solo violinist of the inter-War years, regularly performing major concertos with such conductors as Nikisch, Toscanini, Weingartner, Walter, Furtwängler, Boult, Wood, Barbirolli and his elder brother Fritz. He was, moreover, an outstanding composer whose works enjoyed performances in Germany and further afield. Frequently he appeared as soloist and composer in the same concert.

His courageous decision to boycott his native country from April 1933 – despite Hitler’s efforts to persuade ‘our German violinist’ to return – drastically reduced his income and damaged his career as soloist and composer. In 1938, because of Mussolini’s race laws, he imposed a similar boycott on Italy, where he was wildly popular. The following year he emigrated with his quartet colleagues to the United States, where he was not fully appreciated, although he had many successes with a new chamber orchestra and founded the Marlboro summer school.

This biography, based on more than thirty years’ research, examines Busch’s exemplary behaviour in the context of a tumultuous era. Volume One traces his progress from childhood in Westphalia, through friendships with Fritz Steinbach, Donald Tovey and Max Reger, early triumphs in Berlin, London and Vienna, years of maturity and fulfilment, rejection of Hitler’s Germany and close bonds with British musicians and concert-goers in the 1930s. It ends just before his move into American exile. Volume Two follows Busch through the Second World War, his return to give concerts in Europe in the late 1940s and his founding of the Marlboro summer school in Vermont shortly before his untimely death. A series of appendices consider Busch as violinist, violist and teacher, his taste and repertoire, his interpretations, his colleagues, his celebrated recordings and his compositions.

This revised edition now features full colour covers and additional photographs added to the generous quantity presented in the first edition. Information from Scottish composer, Erik Chrisholm, which has come to light since the first edition gives a delightful picture of Busch and his colleagues in the early 1930s. The appendices and indexes have been thoroughly updated and the discography has been overhauled to reflect the large number of fresh reissues of Busch’s recordings as well as new recordings of his compositions.

2 reviews for Adolf Busch: The Life of an Honest Musician – Two Volume Revised Edition Set

  1. :

    “This is a magisterial account of Busch’s life and times, and it is impossible to imagine anything surpassing it. But this is only part of its substance. Tully Potter’s substantial detours into the lives and attitudes of colleagues and contemporaries, are of equivalent value. There are fascinating discussions about Fürtwangler, Tovey, Serkin and Casals for example, which add an unusual and variegated richness. The detailed biographical portraits of Busch’s family and colleagues in Volume II further augment this wealth of detail.” —ARC Ensemble

  2. :

    I hope the reprint will happen. I’d be glad to have this!

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