Together with pianist Ellyne Wieringa, I have put together a wonderful programme focusing on the legendary cellist Pablo Casals. We have already performed the programme several times and will play it twice more at concerts later in the spring.

This programme is an ode to the legendary cellist Pablo Casals in which the musical pieces reflect the different facets of his life story: his Catalan identity, his collaboration with Julius Röntgen, and his commitment to Bach’s cello suites and, in particular, his call for peace. It shows a monumental life with which he manages to inspire to this day.
In times of war and oppression, we want to respond to a social theme: resistance. As a renowned cellist, Casals abstained from concerts for a long period in opposition to fascist regimes. “El Cant dels Occels” is a Catalan anthem that Casals repeatedly played when calling for peace, including during his speeches at the United Nations.
Bach’s cello suites are nowadays unmissable in the cello repertoire, but this has not always been the case. Casals has given prominence to these works by bringing them to the stage. In addition to ‘original’ Bach, we also play a Catalan piece inspired by it and an arrangement by Siloti/Casals: a unique insight into how Bach was interpreted then.

We reference his Catalan identity with pieces by Granados and Cassado. We also play a sonata by Julius Röntgen; as a duo partner, Casals was a regular guest at Röntgen’s house in Bilthoven. We would like to introduce this lesser-known, Dutch work to the public. We complement the programme with a handful of encore pieces that have become known partly thanks to Casals. We have found that a this programme, with many short alternating pieces, is very popular with the audience. It will be an inspiring portrait that we would like to bring to many people’s attention.

Following our concert in Zandvoort for the Classic Concerts series, Roos Strating of the Zandvoortse Courant newspaper wrote a wonderful report.


Volledig programma:

Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966) –  Requiebros (1934)
Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) - Romance in g klein, op. 32 (1904)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - uit Suite voor Cello Solo in G groot, BWV 1007
i. Prelude
ii. Allemande
iii. Courante
iv. Sarabande
v. Menuet I & II
iv. Gigue
Trad. Arr. Pablo Casals (1876-1973)  - El Cant dels Ocells
Enrique Granados (1867-1916) -  Uit 12 Danzas Españolas, op. 37
Nr. 5 Andaluza
—– pauze ——
Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) - Cello Sonate nr. 5 in b klein, op. 56 (1907)
i. Moderato
ii. Allegro con moto
iii. Poco andante, teneramente
iv. Molto passionato e vivace – Lento
Enrique Granados, arr. G Cassado (1867-1916) - Uit Opera ‘Goyescas’(1913):
Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. A. Siloti, rev. by P. Casals (1685-1750) - Jesu meine Freude
David Popper (1843-1913) - Spanish Dance ‘Vito’, op. 54