William Busch: Cello Concerto in G minor
William Busch (1901-1945)
Cello Concerto in G minor
I. Lento - Allegro con spirito 0:00
II. Allegretto quasi andante con dolcezza 10:11
III. Molto vivace con brio 16:55
Raphael Wallfisch, cello
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vernon Handley, conductor
William Busch (1901 – 1945) was a British composer and musician. Busch studied music in London, Berlin and the United States. His composition teachers included John Ireland and Bernard van Dieren, and he studied piano with Mabel Lander, Leonid Kreutzer, Wilhelm Backhaus and Egon Petri. He worked as a concert pianist, before devoting himself more to music composition. He composed a piano concerto, piano quartet, and a cello concerto. He corresponded regularly with fellow composer Gerald Finzi during the latter 1930s about the policies of Adolf Hitler against Jews in Germany. His pacifism during World War II resulted in decreased reception for his works during this time. Busch died in 1945 in Woolacombe, North Devon, England. Music critic John Amis wrote that his works would have a lasting legacy due to their value. His compositions were performed in 2010 at a music festival in Ludlow, Shropshire, where he was compared to Muriel Herbert and Martin Shaw. Raphael Wallfisch released an album in 2014 featuring his compositions. William Busch was born on 24 June 1901 in London, England. His parents were originally from Germany, and later went through the naturalization process to become citizens of the United Kingdom. His musical studies took him to London; Berlin, Germany; and the United States. His studies in Germany took place between 1921 and 1924. Busch learned musical composition under English composer John Ireland and Dutch composer Bernard van Dieren. He took instruction from piano tutor Mabel Lander. His piano skills were honed by classical pianist Egon Petri. After his education, Busch came back to England and worked for a time as a concert pianist. He traveled and performed as a concert pianist in South Africa and the United States. After his work as a concert pianist, Busch subsequently devoted himself in the later part of his career to musical composition. He switched from performing regularly, to composition mainly, because of his affliction with stage fright. Busch composed a piano concerto for the BBC Contemporary Music concert which he himself performed in 1938, and wrote a piano quartet in 1939. Between 1938–1939, Busch corresponded regularly with his composer colleague, Gerald Finzi. Their letters mainly focused on the sanctions imposed on Jews at the time in Germany by Adolf Hitler, with Finzi arguing staunchly against segregation. Busch's pacifism during World War II left himself and fellow composer William Wordsworth given less reception during this time period. His cello concerto, written in 1941, was performed at The Proms in 1943. Busch died on 30 January 1945 in Woolacombe, North Devon, England. At the time he was in the early stages of receiving significant recognition for his music works. Music critic John Amis wrote upon his death of his impact: "Recognition will not cease now, for his work has permanent values." In 2010, Busch's work was highlighted at the Fourth Triennial Weekend of English Song, Ludlow, Shropshire, where the artistic director of the program called him an "unsung" composer and classed his compositions amongst the works of Muriel Herbert and Martin Shaw. Raphael Wallfisch released an album in 2014, British Music for Cello and Piano, featuring compositions by Busch.
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