Casals, Pau

Casals, Pau
b. 1876, Vendrell (Catalonia); d. 1973,
   San Juan (Puerto Rico)
   Cellist, conductor and composer
   Pau Casals died in exile, stipulating that his body was not to be returned to Spain until the country had reverted to democracy and Catalonia had become an autonomous community. He was buried in Vendrell in 1979. This strength of resolve was the distinguishing mark of his life. Casals is often portrayed as a musical reactionary because of a professed dislike of atonal music and his almost puritan mastery of Beethoven and Bach, but the truth is that he was, in musical terms, a radical figure. A pre-eminent cellist, he questioned conventional practice at an early age, freeing the bow and rethinking the restrictive practices in relation to the fingering, technical revisions that, at the time, amounted to subversion.
   As Spain offered no stable musical infrastructure, Casals spent much of his time abroad studying and, subsequently, on tour, but he always considered Barcelona his home, and his contribution to the cultural life of Catalonia has been notable. In 1919, he established and frequently conducted the Pau Casals Orchestra, which managed to survive for nearly two decades despite early financial constraints and would have continued if the Civil War had not broken out. Casals could also be seen as a successor to Josep Anselm Clavé, who started a number of choral societies for the working class in the nineteenth century, since he was involved in the founding of a working-man's concert association, so that symphonic concerts could be heard at reduced prices. This association grew from around 2,500 members to a total of 300,000 with branches throughout the region. Unfortunately, all of this disappeared with the defeat of the Republican side when Casals, like many others, was forced into exile. Casals settled in Prades, a French Catalan town in the Pyrenees, where he devoted himself to teaching, composition and the organization of an annual festival. Although a musical event rather than a political one, the festival was inevitably linked to Catalonia's regeneration. Cultural aid had become a priority once Franco began his persecution of the region's language and heritage. Casals became a spokesman against the dictatorship but had little political influence. Nevertheless, this obsession with communicating a global message of peace led him to compose El Pesebre (The Manger) between 1943 and 1960. Criticized as derivative from nineteenth-century romanticism, this composition is not regarded as a high musical achievement. However, it dominated Casals" last performing years and was received with enthusiasm by audiences who found El Pesebre an emotional experience.
   Further reading
   - Baldock, R. (1992) Pablo Casals, London: Victor Gollancz (a fascinating account of Casals" life, containing a comprehensive discography of recordings available on compact disc).
   - Kirk, H.L. (1974) Pablo Casals: a Biography, London: Hutchinson (includes a discography compiled by Teri Noel Towe; the biography has been superseded by Baldock's, but nonetheless contains a complete discography of recordings on vinyl disc).
   JESSAMY HARVEY

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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  • Casals, Pau — ► (1876 1973) Músico y compositor español. Las suites de Bach para violoncelo son revelación suya. Como director, dirigió, de 1920 a 1936, la Orquesta Pau Casals. Exiliado en 1939, fijó su residencia en Prades (Francia), y más tarde en Puerto… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Casals — Casals, Pau …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pau Casals — Datos generales Nacimiento 29 de diciembre de 1876 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Pau Casals — i Defilló (katalanische Namensform, [ˈpaw kəˈzals], international auch in kastilischer Form als Pablo Casals [ˈpaβlo kaˈsals] bekannt; * 29. Dezember 1876 in El Vendrell, Spanien; † 22. Oktober 1973 in San Juan de Puerto Rico) wurde vor allem als …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pau Casals — (Ла Амеллья де Мар,Испания) Категория отеля: Адрес: Pau Casals, 27, 43860 Ла Амеллья де …   Каталог отелей

  • CASALS (P.) — CASALS PABLO (1876 1973) Après s’être initié à divers instruments (piano, violon, flûte et orgue), Pablo Casals, né à Vendrell (Espagne), entre en 1888 au conservatoire de Barcelone où il travaille le violoncelle avec José García et l’harmonie… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Casals — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Jordi Casals (* 1973), katalonischer Chorleiter und Dirigent Pau Casals (1876–1973), katalanischer Komponist, Dirigent und Musiker Rosie Casals (* 1948), US amerikanische Tennisspielerin Toni Casals Rueda… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pau (Name) — Pau ist ein katalanischer männlicher Vorname[1][2] lateinischen Ursprungs. Die deutschsprachige Form des Namens ist Paul. Weiteres zu Herkunft und Bedeutung des Namens siehe hier. Die spanische Form des Namens ist Pablo. Pau ist auch das… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Casals — [kə sälz′, kəsalz′; ] Sp [ kä säls′] Pablo [pä′blō΄] (born Pau Carlos Salvador Defillo de Casals) 1876 1973; Sp. cellist & composer …   English World dictionary

  • Pablo Casals — Pau Casals i Defilló [ˈpaw kəˈzals], international auch in kastilischer Namensform als Pablo Casals [ˈpaβlo kaˈsals] bekannt, (* 29. Dezember 1876 in El Vendrell, Katalonien, Spanien; † 22. Oktober 1973 in San Juan de Puerto Rico) wurde vor allem …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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