Pablo Casals, The Art of Pablo Casals (1964)
“What is that beautiful cello?” Someone visiting said recently. “Who is playing that? Where did you get it?” And the answer of course is Pablo Casals. And the other answer is: This fantastic fucking junk shop in Masterton for $2! (Well, alright, they’re all junk shops in that dump of a town, so I’ll be more specific…) I was in Masterton recently for the day, on holiday. And it wasn’t terrible. Which was interesting. Since that’s almost never been the case there. But the kids were enjoying that fantastic park and there was some good weather. Plus: Holidays. I was relaxed. And then I remembered this relic of a second-hand store, proper old-school. And how the last time I’d been in there many moons ago (when I had a moonlighting gig playing drums for the Spines) I had found a few fantastic curios. So I was off to try it again. Well there wasn’t much there this time. But I spied this. And knew it would be good. And it really is. A beaut actually – in decent condition too. It’s a 60s recording of music (in mono) from the 20s and 30s and it just really has a warmth and majesty about it. I mean Casals was The Guy. I was talking to someone recently about Yo-Yo Ma. Saying that, basically, he was the most important cellist of the 20th (and 21st) Century/s. Certainly the second half of the 20th. Certainly the most visible – had done more of the instrument than anyone else really. And I guess Casals was the pre-Yo-Yo, the most important name in cello across the first half of the 20th Century. Or certainly one of the people. Towering talent – as composer, arranger, player. And so, in conclusion, Masterton is not entirely shit.
Sample Track: Après un rêve
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