Memoir Robert Baldock Pablo Cassals

ISBN 13: 9781555531768

Pablo Cassals

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9781555531768: Pablo Cassals

In this first full-length biography since the death of Pablo Casals, Robert Baldock examines the complex details of the great cellist's extraordinary life, including his music, marriages, friendships, and deep-felt moral and political protest against fascism.

"Pablo Casals (1876-1973) virtually defined the cello as a solo instrument through his combination of musicality and raw virtuosity. Baldock thoroughly describes how he did this."

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From Publishers Weekly:

The great cellist, who played during his life for both Queen Victoria and President Kennedy, was a personality at once complex and simple; and it is the virtue of Baldock's biography that he makes this abundantly clear. "The dilemma between the urge to communicate and the fear of exposure was one he never resolved," the author writes, and notes that journalists always had to struggle to explain "that so unpretentious a man should produce art so great." Casals (1876-1973) was born in Catalonia, a fact that dominated his life, first in the struggle for Catalonian independence from Spain, and later in the fight against Franco. In protest against both, the man who had been the first cellist to make a notable solo career withdrew from the major centers of musical life and established two music festivals devoted above all to the works of his beloved Bach: first in the 1950s at Prades, across the French border from Catalonia, and in the 1960s in Puerto Rico, where he lived out his final years. Emotional, stubborn, retiring and always profoundly moralistic, Casals was an unforgettable performer as well as a political icon of remarkable potency. This is a clearsighted, sensible study, by an admirer who is an editor at Yale University Press in London. Photos; discography.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Casals is credited with establishing the cello as a popular solo concert instrument. From the beginning of this century until his death 20 years ago at age 97, he was revered by the musical world as one of the instrument's most sensitive interpreters. Baldock presents a detailed study of his life, highlighting the Spanish political scene that caused Casals to live in exile from his beloved Catalonia for 34 years. Although well written and researched, the book is clearly hero worship, and Baldock sometimes strains credibility by attributing excessive musical and political expertise to Casals while justifying some of his excessive behavior. On the whole, though, this is interesting portrait of a great man and his times. For large music collections.
- Timothy J. McGee, Univ. of Toronto
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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