‘Oscar Fetrás’ was the pen-name of the Hamburg conductor Otto Faster (1854–1931), who was such an ardent fan of the ‘Waltz King’ Johann Strauss that he not only composed in similar style but also built up an important collection of Strauss memorabilia and even modelled his appearance on his idol. This indebtedness is well displayed in his most successful waltz, Mondnacht auf der Alster
(‘Moonlight on the Alster’), which dates from around 1890. Just as Strauss’s most celebrated waltz takes its name from Vienna’s principal waterway, the Danube, so too is Fetrás’s named after Hamburg’s—the tributary of the Elbe that at Hamburg forms two lakes, the Inner and Outer Alster.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 1998