29 Jul 41st International Pau Casals Music Festival
It was a pleasure to record another edition of the International Pau Casals Music Festival in Catalonia. Some of the most talented European musicians, under the artistic direction of Bernard Meillat, honored with their presence the memory of Pau Casals – the Spanish-born cellist and conductor known for his virtuosic technique, skilled interpretation, and consummate musicianship. Pau Casals believed that the melodies of Bach, Mozart or Beethoven are the universal language above all – the one that can touch the hearts of all human beings. Perhaps thanks to that, after many years of tradition the International Pau Casals Music Festival in Catalonia remains one of the most famous chamber music festivals in the world. To pay their tribute, artists have prepared several special concerts – all of them with unique themes and a sublime atmosphere. Under the Bernard Meillat’s selection, the artistic program was:
- The magic of the trio
The first performance’s theme was “The magic of the trio”, which is known as one of the most difficult musical forms. This year’s opening concert belonged to the trio of Gabriele Carcano on the piano, Liza Ferschtman on the violin and Ivan Karizna on the cello. Together they managed to create an amazing performance of the works by Mendelssohn, Franck and Brahms.
- Back to the roots by the Quartet Casals
“Back to the roots” was the theme of a concert by the Casals Quartet, currently considered as one of the best quartets in the world! During the last twenty years they have performed in the most famous venues, such as Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonic and more. For this special evening, they decided to play together with one of their favorite colleagues – the soloist, conductor and pianist, Alexander Lonquich. They performed compositions of Mozart, Haydn and Schumann.
- Bach Recital
One of the artists who arrived in Catalonia this summer in honor of Pau Casals was the great figure of Renaissance and Baroque music – Lorenzo Ghielmi. This eminent musicologist, widely respected writer and renowned teacher is a great fan of Bach’s compositions. His favorite instrument is the organ, therefore for his special performance he has chosen to do an organ recital entirely dedicated to Bach, in the Vendrell parish church.
- The cello in all its glory
Guests have had a chance to take part in an amazing performance created by extremely talented and dedicated to chamber music artists – Daniel Müller-Schott on the cello and Herbert Schuch on the piano. Both of the musicians paid tribute to Pau Casals by giving a beautiful concert based on compositions by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.
- An evening at Villa Casals I
In the twenties, when Pau Casals used to spend the summer in Vendrell, he was often visited at Villa Casals by many of his musician friends. Every evening, they played a variety of music programs – just for pleasure. This summer the atmosphere of their evenings could be recalled, thanks to a special concert. All of the guests could feel that just like during the evenings at Villa Casals – the musicians played with a real pleasure. The three parts of the performance included works of Mozart by Brandon Garbot, Maria Tió, Jonathan Brown, Celia Eliaz and Alejandro Gómez, works of Beethoven by Eylam Keshet, Patricia Cordero and Erica Wise as well as works of Brahms by Alexander Melnikov, Haruna Shinoyama, Pavla Tesařová, Lily Francis and Ferran Bardolet.
- An evening at Villa Casals II
The idea leading this performance was special – the artists attempted to bring back the atmosphere of evening concerts at Villa Casals. With Louis Lortie on the piano, Pau Meyer on the clarinet and Edgar Moreau on the cello, the attempt turned out to be a great success! Their performance of Beethoven, Brahms, Fauré and Debussy’s melodies moved all the present back in time and truly recalled the sensation of private evenings at Villa Casals.
- An Orchestra for Casals
Last (but not least!) concert appeared to be a very interesting performance, connecting both talented young musicians and experienced professionals. All of the artists gathered together in Catalonia to pay tribute to Pau Casals by their play of Mozart, Jancek and Dvorak’s compositions. The performing artists were Alexander Melnikov, Alexander Janiczek, Lily Francis, Sonja Bozner, Álvaro Castelló and Milena Umiglia. The Czech program truly delighted the audience!
All of those concerts will be broadcasted by Catalunya Musica and other EBU radios. Recorded at Pau Casals Auditorium in Catalonia in 2022 by N Studio Lisbon team.