Oscar Fetrás
Oscar Fetrás was a German composer of popular dance music, military marches, piano pieces and arrangements.

He had over 200 compositions to his name. His best known work is his waltz
The waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in time, performed primarily in closed position.- History :There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim...

 "Mondnacht auf der Alster
The Alster is a right tributary of the River Elbe in Northern Germany. It has its source near Henstedt-Ulzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, flows roughly southwards and reaches the Elbe in Hamburg. In the centre of Hamburg the Alster has been dammed...

" Op. 60 which is still immensely popular to the present day.


He was born Otto Kaufmann Faster. Early in his career he worked for Ferdinand Laeisz, founder of the Flying P-Liner
Flying P-Liner
The Flying P-Liners were the sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz of Hamburg.The company was founded in 1824 by Ferdinand Laeisz as a hat manufacturing company. He was quite successful and distributed his hats even in South America...

. Once he became widely regarded as being on the same level as the revered Viennese waltz kings, he departed to conduct his own orchestra.

At the age of 26 his compositions attracted the attention of a Hamburg publisher and he adopted the name Fetrás. He was essentially of German descent and his musical talent came from his father, who was from Prague.

He soon rose to the position of conductor of the Uhlenhorster Färhaus which was the most famous restaurant with ballrooms in Hamburg for which he composed his second most famous, but now forgotten work, Uhlenhorster Kinder. He was regarded as the most talented light music composer that Northern Germany ever produced and right from the start modelled his own composing on that of his idol, Johann Strauss Jr.

It is interesting to note that it might have been Franz von Blon who was at that time the conductor of the Stadttheater Orchestra who introduced Moonlight on the Alster at the inaugural concert for the ball season in 1888. It was a sensation anyway and earned Fetrás the title of 'The Hamburg Waltz King'. Soon he was invited to tour Germany, Austria and France with his orchestra. He became personally acquainted with Johann Strauss. In 1904 he won a prize for his composition Frühlingsluft and later he wrote the excellent potpourri Reiche Mädchen (a reworking of Johann Strauss’s 1897 operetta Der Göttin der Vernunft. The complete Die Göttin der Vernunft operetta has been released (2011) by Naxos Records
Naxos Records
Naxos Records is a record label specializing in classical music. Through a number of imprints, Naxos also releases genres including Chinese music, jazz, world music, and early rock & roll. The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born resident of Hong Kong.Naxos is the largest...

, whilst the Reiche Mädchen Potpourri has been recorded by Marco Polo on their two CD production of Johann Strauss operetta potpourris. Fetrás remained well known and respected and though definitely a second rank composer in the Viennese style, he produced some 300 works.


In 1943, the Uhlenhorster Färhaus was destroyed by Allied bombing and with it the original score of his most famous work Moonlight on the Alster Op.60. The waltzes and music of Fetrás appear to have disappeared from the mainstream repertoire since WWII. The reason for this is primarily that many outlets of music publishers and music parts libraries which issued his material were destroyed during the bombing of Hamburg in World War II
Bombing of Hamburg in World War II
The Allied bombing of Hamburg during World War II included numerous strategic bombing missions and diversion/nuisance raids. As a large port and industrial center, Hamburg's shipyards, U-boat pens, and the Hamburg-Harburg area oil refineries were attacked throughout the war...

 leaving currently no publisher actively issuing his material as well as destroying significant amounts of historic musical material. A current project aims to draw his compositions together via the IMSLP and make them more widely available once again.

In Hamburg-Rahlstedt the street Fetrasweg is named after him.


  • Op. 10 Goldschmieds Tochterlein – walzer
  • Op. 11 Bankett – march
  • Op. 12 Schon Lenchen – polka
    The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia...

  • Op. 13 Hand in Hand – lanciers
  • Op. 14 Lustig voran! – march
  • Op. 15 In dem gold'nen Faschingszeit – walzer
  • Op. 16 Traulich beisammen – gavotte
    The gavotte originated as a French folk dance, taking its name from the Gavot people of the Pays de Gap region of Dauphiné, where the dance originated. It is notated in 4/4 or 2/2 time and is of moderate tempo...

  • Op. 17 Fruhling im Herzen – walzer
  • Op. 18 Ihn nach! – polka schnell
  • Op. 19 Luftschlosser – walzer
  • Op. 20 Flottes Carre – lanciers
  • Op. 21 Rosamundchen – polka francaise
  • Op. 22 Carmen – walzer nach Motiven aus Bizet's opera
  • Op. 23 Nachtschwarmer – walzer
  • Op. 24 An die Gewehre! – march
  • Op. 25 Die Schaferin – rheinische polka
  • Op. 26 Das Blonde Gretchen – walzer
  • Op. 27 Maskentrubel – polka francaise
  • Op. 28 Elekrisch – polka schnell
  • Op. 29 Balduin Dahl-Marsch – march
  • Op. 30 La Mascotte
    La mascotte
    La mascotte is an opéra comique by Edmond Audran. The French libretto was by Alfred Duru and Henri Charles Chivot. The story concerns a farm girl who is believed to bring good luck to whoever possesses her, so long as she remains a virgin...

     – walzer nach Motiven aus Audran's opera
  • Op. 31 Im Morgengrauen – walzer
  • Op. 32 Le Petit blue – march
  • Op. 33 Vis a Vis – lanciers
  • Op. 34 Rip-Rip Valse – walzer nach Motiven aus Planquette
    The river Planquette is one of the small streams that flow from the plateau of the southern Boulonnais and Picardy, into the Canche.The river rises at Planques and passes Fressin, Wambercourt, Cavron-Saint-Martin and joins the Canche at Contes.-References:...

  • Op. 35 Spanisher – walzer
  • Op. 36 Blumenpyramiden – walzer
  • Op. 37 Wintergarten – quadrille
    Quadrille is a historic dance performed by four couples in a square formation, a precursor to traditional square dancing. It is also a style of music...

  • Op. 38 Zigeunerblut – march
  • Op. 39 Kostumefest – quadrille
  • Op. 40 Uhlenhorster Kinder – walzer
  • Op. 41 Nur fest! – march
  • Op. 42 Irma – walzer nach Motiven aus Audran
    Edmond Audran
    Achille Edmond Audran was a French composer best known for several internationally successful operettas, including Les noces d'Olivette , La mascotte , Gillette de Narbonne , La cigale et la fourmi , Miss Helyett , and La poupée .After Audran's initial success in Paris, his works also became a...

    's opera
  • Op. 43 Fensterpromenaden – walzer
  • Op. 44 Dunkle Rose – polka-mazurka
    The mazurka is a Polish folk dance in triple meter, usually at a lively tempo, and with accent on the third or second beat.-History:The folk origins of the mazurek are two other Polish musical forms—the slow machine...

  • Op. 45 Dir zu Lieb! – polka francaise
  • Op. 47 Tosti-Leider – walzer
  • Op. 48 Husarenliebchen – marsch-polka
  • Op. 49 Derby – quadrille
  • Op. 50 Veilchen am Wege – walzer
  • Op. 51 Frisch gewagt – march
  • Op. 52 Bei Nacht und Nebel – walzer
  • Op. 53 Emmeline – polka francaise
  • Op. 54 Stelldichein – march
  • Op. 55 Lieb und Lied – walzer
  • Op. 57 Jeanette – polka francaise
  • Op. 58 Barcelona – march
  • Op. 59 Erwischt! – polka schnell
  • Op. 60 Mondnacht auf der Alster – walzer
  • Op. 61 Bunte Reihe – lanciers
  • Op. 62 Train – march
  • Op. 63 Marias Traum – walzer
  • Op. 64 Quadrille im militar stil – quadrille
  • Op. 65 Fifi – march
  • Op. 66 En tete a tete – lanciers
  • Op. 67 Trinket, scherzet! – walzer
  • Op. 68 Margaretha – polka-mazurka
  • Op. 69 Maskenscherze – quadrille
  • Op. 70 Auf rosigem Pfad – walzer
  • Op. 71 Geschichten aus dem Sachsenwald
    The Sachsenwald is a forest near Hamburg, Germany. It is an unincorporated area in the Amt Hohe Elbgeest. It derives its name, which is in , from being located in the former Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, earlier also called Lower Saxony, now mostly covered by the District Herzogtum Lauenburg . The...

     – walzer
  • Op. 72 Leichtes Element – polka francaise
  • Op. 73 Nervos – polka schnell
  • Op. 74 Schalagat – quadrille
  • Op. 75 BlaueAugen – blauer Himmel – walzer
  • Op. 76 Wissmann – march
  • Op. 77 Eichhornchen – polka schnell
  • Op. 78 Der Gladiator – march
  • Op. 79 Spielmanns Lieder – walzer
  • Op. 80 Strand-Idyllen – walzer
  • Op. 82 Dimitri – march
  • Op. 83 Fidele – march
  • Op. 112 Marchen aus der Quellental – walzer
  • Op. 122 Die Konigsmaid – walzer
  • Op. 126 Redaktionsgeheinmisse – walzer
  • Op. 128 La Barcarolle – walzer nach Motiven aus Offenbach
    Jacques Offenbach
    Jacques Offenbach was a Prussian-born French composer, cellist and impresario. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann Strauss, Jr....

    's opera
  • Op. 137 Carmen – march nach Motiven aus Bizet
  • Op. 139 Tirol in Lied und Tanz
  • Op. 140 Carmen – quadrille nach Motiven aus Bizet's opera
  • Op. 145 Prisca – walzer (Rupprecht)
  • Op. 146 Funkenspache – polka schnell
  • Op. 147 Flunkermichel – polka francaise
  • Op. 148 Scheiden und Meiden (Les Adieux) – walzer
  • Op. 149 Sommernacht am Rhein – walzer
  • Op. 150 Frohsin auf den Bergen – walzer
  • Op. 152 Im 7 Himmel – potpourri
  • Op. 153 Leibeschafft Rat – overture
  • Op. 154 Freikugeln – march
  • Op. 157 Melodien-Parade – marsch-potpourri
  • Op. 163 Offenbach – quadrille nach Motiven von Offenbach
  • Op. 164 Offenbach – walzer
  • Op. 165 Wenn die Füsschen sie heben – walzer nach Motiven aus Die keusche Susanne
    Die keusche Susanne
    Die keusche Susanne is an operetta in three acts by Jean Gilbert. The German libretto was by Georg Okonkowski, based on the play Le fils à papa by Antony Mars and Maurice Desvallières. Jean Gilbert's son, Robert Gilbert prepared a revised version in 1953.-Performance history:It was first performed...

    von Jean Gilbert
    Jean Gilbert
    Jean Gilbert was a German operetta composer and conductor. His real name was Max Winterfeld. He adopted the name of Jean Gilbert for the production of his first operetta in 1901.Gilbert was born in Hamburg...

  • Op. 166 Wenn der Vater mit dem Sohne – march nach Motiven aus Die keusche Susanne von Jean Gilbert
  • Op. 167 Hahnen-Rheinländer (Die Keusche Suzanne – Gilbert) / Kätchen-Rheinländer (Tieck) – polka francaise
  • Op. 168 Die Keusche Susanne – potpourri (Gilbert)
  • Op. 169 Onegin-Klänge – walzer nach Motiven aus Tchaikovsky's opera
  • Op. 170 Margeuritentag – walzer
  • Op. 171 Operetten-Revue – potpourri
  • Op. 174 Willst du Lieve lernen? – walzer nach Motiven aus Marine-Gust'l von Georg Jarno
    Georg Jarno
    Georg Jarno was a Hungarian composer, mainly of operettas.-Biography:After he finished his studies in Budapest, he worked as Theaterkapellmeister in in Bremen, Gera, Halle, Metz, Liegnitz, Chemnitz and Magdeburg, and also as opera director in Bad Kissingen, before settling in Vienna as a freelance...

  • Op. 175 Spanisch-Polnisch – march
  • Op. 176 Auf hoher See – march nach Motiven aus Marine-Gust'l von Jarno
  • Op. 177 Die Keusche Susanne – quadrille nach Motiven aus Die keusche Susanne von Jean Gilbert
  • Op. 178 Die Marine-Gust'l – potpourri (Georg Jarno)
  • Op. 179 Truthahn-Tanz – trot de dindon
  • Op. 180 Blumenfest – overture
  • Op. 188 Skizzen aus Russland – divertissement
  • Op. 189 Die Wandervigel – march
  • Op. 191 Polo-Spiele – intermezzo
  • Op. 192 Mia Cara – tango
  • Op. 193 Walzerflut oder 100 Jahre in 15 Minuten – chronologishe walzer-suite
  • Op. 194 Die Lustigen Marionetten – intermezzo
  • Op. 195 Juchhei, Tirolerbub – march
  • Op. 196 Souvenir de Chopin – fantasie
  • Op. 197 Froh im Kreise – Deutchses volksleider potpourri
  • Op. 199 O Deutschland hoch in Ehren – march
  • Op. 200 Hurra Hurra die Uhlanen sind da – Kriegsmarsch 1914
  • Op. 201 Hindenburg – march
  • Op. 202 Kinderleider – march
  • Op. 203 Verkaufte Braut – march nach Motiven aus Smetana's opera
  • Op. 204 Andreas Hofer – march
  • Op. 205 Nachruf an Schubert – potpourri
  • Op. 206 Nachruf an Mendelssohn – potpourri
  • Op. 207 Alpensanger – potpourri
  • Op. 208 Holzschutanz – Charakterstück – potpourri
  • Op. 209 Kinstlerlaue – intermezzo
  • Op. 210 Hoffnungssterne – walzer
  • Op. 211 Von Buhne zu Buhne – opera fantasie
  • Op. 212 Erinnerung an Josef Gung'l – potpourri
  • Op. 213 Aus Deutschlands Liederhain – potpourri
  • Op. 215 Lumbye-Fantasie – divertissement (Hans Christian Lumbye
    Hans Christian Lumbye
    Hans Christian Lumbye was a Danish composer of waltzes, polkas, mazurkas and galops, among other things.As a child, he studied music in Randers and Odense, and by age 14 he was playing the trumpet in a military band. In 1829, he joined the Horse Guards in Copenhagen, still continuing his music...

  • Op. 216 Nymphe und Faun – walzer nach Motiven von Delibes
  • Op. 218 Minutenspiele – potpourri
  • Op. 219 Sang und Tanz von Bohmerland – potpourri
  • Op. 222 Russische Volksklange – potpourri
  • Op. 223 Tanzlust auf der Alm – Ländler

Sources and references

  • Lexikon des Blasmusikwesens, Freiburg-Tiengen: Blasmusikverlag Schulz, 1988
  • La musica en la radio: radio Ciudad Real EAJ 65 y sus discos de pizarra Coordinador: francisco Alia Miranda Cuenca: Ediciones de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 2000, p. 321-356
  • The heritage encyclopedia of band music: composers and their music Edited by Paul E. Bierley. William H. Rehrig, Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press, 1991
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians London: Macmillan, 1980
  • Kurschners Deutscher Musiker-Kalender 1954 Zweite Ausgabe des Deutschen Musiker-Lexikons erausgeber: Hedwig und E.H. Mueller von Asow, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1954
  • Sohlman's musiklexikon Gosta Morin, Carl Allan Moberg. Einar Sundstrom Stockholm: Sohlman Forlag, 1951
  • Dizionario universale dei musicisti: Supplemento Schmidl, Carlo. Milan: Sonzogno, 1938
  • Kurzgefasstes Tonkunstler Lexikon: fur Musiker und Freunde der Musik Begründet von Paul Frank. Neu bearbeitet und erganzt von Wilhelm Altmann. Regensburg: Gustave Bosse, 1936
  • Deutsches Musiker-Lexikon Herausgegeben von Erich H. Muller. Dresden: Wilhelm Limpert, 1929

External links

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