Pablo Casals ๐ŸŽป

โ€œThe love of oneโ€™s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?โ€

Pablo Casals (29 December 1876 โ€“1973), Spanish cellist, conductor, and composer.
He was awarded the U.N. Peace Medal in recognition of his stance for peace, justice and freedom on 24 October 1971, two months before his 95th birthday. Here is part of his acceptance speech:

โ€œI havenโ€™t played in public for nearly forty years- I have to play today…. This piece is called โ€œThe song of the Birdsโ€. The birds, in the sky, in the space, sing: Peace, peace, peace. The music is a music that Bach, Beethoven and all the greats would have admired and loved, and it is also the soul of my country: Catalonia.โ€

โ€œThe Song of the Birdsโ€ (โ€œEl cant dels ocellsโ€) is a traditional Catalan carol, made famous outside Catalonia by Pau Casals with his version for cello, which tells of natureโ€™s joy at learning of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
Casals, who was an ardent supporter of the Spanish Republican government and after its defeat decided not to return to Spain until democracy was restored, during his exile used to begin each of his concerts by playing this song.

He never returned to Spain: He did not live long enough to see the end of the Francoist Regime.

โ€œL’amore per la propria patria รจ una cosa splendida. Ma perchรฉ l’amore dovrebbe fermarsi al confine?”

Pablo Casals (29 dicembre 1876 โ€“ 22 ottobre 1973) violoncellista, direttore d’orchestra e compositore spagnolo.
Fu insignito della Medaglia delle Nazioni Unite per la Pace in riconoscimento della sua presa di posizione a favore di pace, giustizia e libertร , il 24 ottobre 1971, due mesi prima del suo 95esimo compleanno. Ecco parte del suo discorso di ringraziamento:

“Non suono in pubblico da quasi quarant’anni, devo suonare oggi. Questo pezzo si chiama “Il canto degli uccelli”. Gli uccelli, nel cielo, nello spazio, cantano: Pace, pace, pace. La musica รจ una musica che Bach, Beethoven e tutti i grandi avrebbero ammirato e amato, ed รจ anche l’anima del mio paese: la Catalogna.”

โ€œIl canto degli uccelliโ€ (“El cant dels ocells”) รจ un canto tradizionale catalano, che racconta la gioia della natura nell’apprendere la nascita di Gesรน Cristo a Betlemme, reso famoso fuori dalla Catalogna da Pau Casals con la sua versione per violoncello,
Casals, che era un ardente sostenitore del governo repubblicano spagnolo e dopo la sua sconfitta decise di non tornare in Spagna fino al ripristino della democrazia, durante il suo esilio iniziava ogni suo concerto suonando questo brano.

Non tornรฒ mai in Spagna: non visse abbastanza a lungo per vedere la fine del regime franchista.

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62 thoughts on “Pablo Casals ๐ŸŽป

  1. Thank you Louisa for introducing Pablo Casals to us. The sensitivity with which you tell us about his life and his music makes my heart sing. “The song of the birds” is so beautiful and even more so when played by Casals. Will listen again now. :))

    miriam

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for sharing this! Somehow I have never heard it. When I was young I used to play the Catalan folk songs for solo guitar transcribed by Miguel Llobet. Casals was one of my heroes then, and this brought back lots of memories.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Che dolore deve essere quello di non poter ritornare dove senti di avere le radici. Anche se il terreno per gli uomini potrebbe essere coniugato al plurale. Oggi devo onorare la vita di
    Lord MC App quindi sono serio.๐Ÿ˜ญ

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Indeed, “why should love stop at the border?โ€
    This is why I like blogging and the internet in general. It is nice to meet interesting people all around the world by blogging and visiting blogs. There are no borders or limits for us.
    Wishing you a very happy New Year, Luisa.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Ahh the emotion in his voice during his speech made me well up with tears. I felt his passionate declaration of Peace, Peace, Peace as he tells the story of the birds, right through to my soul. His playing is sublime, a lifetime spent in harmony with his cello I think.
    It struck me at the end of the film that it was so acceptable once to see a man holding a cigarette like a badge of honour as he poses with his cello. These days that image would be photoshopped and the cigarette would magically disappear from the image! Just a random observation, we know I do that!
    Happy New Year Luisa, I am so delighted to have come across your blog, I thoroughly enjoy reading everything you have to say and being introduced to new and interesting opinions on subjects I once thought dull and uninspiring for the lack of passion in them. I hope your New Year brings peace and good health my friend. xx

    Like

    1. Dearest Gemma, I sincerely thank you for your kind comment, for your precious observations and for the appreciation you show towards my blog. I reciprocate the good wishes for a New Year that is truly new because it can restore that serenity and joy of life that the world seems to have lost. ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

      Liked by 1 person

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