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Pau Casals: from a Catalan choirboy to an artist of peace A qualitative exploration of Casals’ thought as shown in his piano and choral compositions

Rovirosa Cabre, R. (2020). Pau Casals: from a Catalan choirboy to an artist of peace A qualitative exploration of Casals’ thought as shown in his piano and choral compositions. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Guildhall School of Music and Drama)

Abstract

Pau Casals (1876-1973) is well known as a cellist, but his facet as a composer is not widely known, especially the fact that he composed piano music. Taking into consideration that Casals was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, a case can be made for a reassessment of Casals’ place not only in the history of the twentieth century music but also in the struggle against totalitarianism – specifically with regard to the Spanish Civil War but also the Cold War following the new political dispensation after the Second World War. Casals saw his activities both as a composer and as a performer as a means of lobbying for world peace. My methodology will include a qualitative analysis of the biographical and cultural context; an examination of unpublished archival material and live performances of Casals’ music to present my findings and to test the experience of his music in performance. As a concert pianist, and moreover, one who shares Casals’ culture, I have a strong and appropriate interest in bringing my experience of his music into the public domain. It is through the eyes of performance-led research and autoethnography that one can fully grasp what Casals’ compositions are about; through the interpreting of Casals’ music, one becomes an ‘agent of culture’ and, consequently, one creates a dialogue between the culture at the time of Casals’ life and the culture that surrounds a performance of Casals’ works now. Casals’ music is still valid today insofar as it attempts to touch the core of our humanity.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2020 13:26
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/25376
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