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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » C » Casals, Pablo



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Pablo Casals (12/29/1876 - 10/22/1973)

The legendary Pau (or Pablo) Casals was born on 29th December 1876 in Vendrell, a little town in Catalonia where his father was organist and choirmaster. I owe nearly all my talent at music to the influence of my father, he wrote. As soon as I could walk he took me to all the services at the church, so that the Gregorian chant, the chorales and the organ voluntaries became part of myself and of my daily life. Carlos Casals taught Pau to sing, play the piano and organ and even compose; at six the boy had mastered the violin well enough to play a solo in public. At eleven his father bought him a small cello and gave him lessons; and soon he began studying at the Municipal School of Music in Barcelona.

Cello playing had not greatly advanced since the days of Luigi Boccherini. The invention of the spike or endpin had freed the body of the instrument from being gripped between the knees, so that it resonated more freely; but some players were still operating in the old way, without a spike. Worst of all, the bowing arm was restricted. We were taught to play with a stiff arm and obliged to keep a book under the armpit, recalled Casals.

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