Pablo Casals, fully Pau Casals i Defilló

Casals, fully Pau Casals i Defilló

Spanish Cellist and Conductor

Author Quotes

Bach is the supreme genius of music... This man, who knows everything and feels everything, cannot write one note, however unimportant it may appear, which is anything but transcendent. He has reached the heart of every noble thought, and has done it in the most perfect way.

Love for one's country is great but why should that love stop at that border?

Throughout my career, nervousness and stage-fright have never left me before playing. And each of the thousands of concerts I have played at, I feel as bad as I did the very first time.

Do we dare to be ourselves? This is the question that counts - and not, Must a man be helpless? ... A man can do something for peace without having to jump into politics.

Martita is the marvel of my world, and each day I find some new wonder in her.

To "retire" means to me to begin to die. The man who works and is never bored is never old. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for age. Each day I am reborn. Each day I must begin again.

Don?t be vain because you happen to have talent. You are not responsible for that; it was not of your doing. What you do with your talent is what matters.

Music must serve a purpose; it must be a part of something larger than itself, a part of humanity.

To retire is the beginning of death.

Each week I receive from Barcelona a package full of clippings from different magazines and newspapers.

Music, this marvelous universal language understood by everyone everywhere, ought to be a source of better communication among men.

To retire is to die.

For the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner. It is not a mechanical routine but something essential to my daily life. I go to the piano, and I play two preludes and fugues of Bach. I cannot think of doing otherwise. It is a sort of benediction on the house. But that is not its only meaning for me. It is a rediscovery of the world of which I have the joy of being a part. It fills me with awareness of the wonder of life, with the feeling of the incredible marvel of being a human being. The music is never the same for me, never. Each day it is something new, fantastic and unbelievable. That is Bach, like nature, a miracle!

Of course, I continue to play and to practice. I think I would do so if I lived for another hundred years.

We are not free to walk on our neighbor's toes.

He also will perform the rarely encountered Song of the Birds... It's only about two minutes long, but it's very beautiful. Casals played it many times, but you don't hear it much anymore.

Put aside convention and play as I believe Bach himself played, with great freedom. Play uncensored, from the heart.

We must all work to make this world worthy of its children.

How could anybody think of Bach as 'cold' when these [cello] suites seem to shine with the most glittering kind of poetry? As I got on with the study I discovered a new world of space and beauty... the feelings I experienced were among the purest and most intense in my artistic life!

The art of interpretation is not to play what is written.

We ought to think that we are one of the leaves of a tree, and the tree is all humanity. We cannot live without the others, without the tree.

I am a very simple man. I am a man first, an artist second. My first obligation is to the welfare of my fellow man. I will endeavor to meet this obligation through music, since it transcends language, politics and national boundaries.

The art of not playing in tempo--one has to learn it. And the art of not playing what is written on the printed paper.

We should say to each of them [our children]: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel?

I am an old man, but in many senses a very young man. And this is what I want you to be, young, young all your life.

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Casals, fully Pau Casals i Defilló
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Spanish Cellist and Conductor