Tuesday

Pablo Casals and Bach



I've been listening to Pablo Casal play Bach: Six Suites for Cello Solo. Something about Casals, absolute mastery with some small exquisitely delicate hesitation endears him to me without reservation.  I am quite sure he could go bravado virtuoso at any moment but it is as though a piece of experienced humanity, all brutal beauty, prevents him from doing so.

Pablo Casals integrity as a human being was made manifest in his refusal to perform publicly while the Franco regime existed.  He insisted he did not suffer as a result of this decision.  He said it was an entirely natural thing for him to do considering that  "...I am a believer in liberty, honesty, justice, and plain human dignity...".

I am entirely sensible to the three years it took him to record this treasure.  Three years seems a perfectly reasonable amount of time to see this masterwork come into being.  I can take take heart knowing this.  I can know that so much unfinished work of my own may simply need more time to come to resolution regardless of what the clock's shove and push may demand.

We play only vinyl here in the house.  I'm sure it would be an affectation if I had an affectee but I don't.  I like the process, the ritual and like all other vinyl aficionados I'm convinced of a tone I can only hear through the union of needle and spinning vinyl.

A much more deeply held conviction for me though is in the truth expressed by Pablo Casals when he says "...as a human being I have sought justice; as a musician I have sought perfection".  What I awkwardly describe as hesitation I can understand metaphorically as the ego's need for restraint when it comes to understanding justice on any level.  And I know that without the desire for perfection as a working artist I would have no desire for making art at all.