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Mr. PABLO CASALS, violoncellist, was born at Vendrell, near Barcelona, Spain, on December 30, 1876. His father was organist of the village church. The boy at the age of eight was able to replace him. He studied the pianoforte, violin, and flute. When he was about twelve years old he began to study the violoncello with José Garcia. The Queen of Spain gave the boy a pension, so he was able to enter the class of chamber music under Don Jesus de Monasterio and the class in harmony and composition conducted by Breton. At the Conservatory of Barcelona he won the first prizes for violoncello, counterpoint, and composition. He was appointed a professor at the Conservatory, and he founded with the violinist Crickboom a society for chamber music. Going to Paris he played in orchestras, and soon distinguished himself as a solo player. Thus he played Lalo's concerto at a Lamoureux concert, November 12, 1899, and Saint-Saëns's first concerto at a Lamoureux concert, December 17 of that year. His talent was also soon recognized in London. For many years he has been conspicuous as a virtuoso and a player of chamber music. He has composed for orchestra and pieces also for violoncello and other instruments. .
Mr. Casals first visited the United States in 1901. He played in Boston for the first time at the Colonial Theatre, November 26, 1901, in a concert given by Mme. Emma Nevada. His associates were Mr. Heathe-Gregory, baritone; Mr. Daniel Maquarre, flutist; and Mr. Léon Moreau, pianist. He then played Fauré's Élégie and a sonata by Locatelli. He visited this country again in 1903, but did not play in Boston. With Mr. Harold Bauer he gave a concert on February 28, 1915, in Symphony Hall, Boston, when he played with Mr. Bauer Beethoven's sonata in A major and Brahms's sonata in F major. He also played Bach's suite in C major for violoncello alone.
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CoNCERTO for VIOLONCELLO AND ORCHESTRA . . . Édouard LALo (Born at Lille, January 27, 1823; died at Paris, April 23, 1892.)
This concerto was first played at a Pasdeloup concert in Paris, December 9, 1877. The solo violoncellist was Adolphe Fischer (1847– 91), a brilliant Belgian virtuoso, who died in a mad-house,_a fate reserved, according to a curious tradition, for oboe players, distinguished or mediocre, rather than violoncellists. Fischer played this concerto the next year in several European cities. The first performance in Boston was at a concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, October 21, 1899, when Miss Elsa Ruegger was the violoncellist. Mr. Jean Gérardy played it at a concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, October 19, 1901. Mr. Heinrich Warnke played it at a concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra on February 10, 1912.
The orchestral portion of the concerto, which is dedicated to Adolphe Fischer, is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, kettledrums, and the usual strings.
I. Prelude. This movement opens, Lento, D minor, 12-8, with a resolute and fortissimo figure for strings and wind. Each phrase is answered by a strong chord for full orchestra. There is a short development of this figure. Recitative-like passages for the solo violoncello lead to the main body of the movement, Allegro maestoso, D minor, 12-8. The pompous first theme is given to the solo instrument, and the initial figure of the Introduction appears now and then in the orchestra during the development. The second theme, F major, is of a calmer nature. It is sung by the violoncello and developed at some length. Running passage-work leads to a return of the slow Introduction, A minor, for full orchestra. The free fantasia section is
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not long, and the third part is in the orthodox manner with the second theme in D major. The movement ends with a return, fortissimo, of the theme of the Introduction, D minor. II. Intermezzo. This movement has the nature of a romanza and also of a scherzo. Two contrasted themes are alternately developed: one Andantino con moto, G minor, 9-8; the other Allegro presto, G major, 6-8. The melodic development is given to the solo instrument. III. The third movement begins with an Introduction, B-flat minor, 9-8, which consists of recitative for the solo violoncello. In the allegro vivace, 6-8, the orchestra goes from F major to D major. The movement is a brilliant rondo based on three themes.
Lalo belonged to a highly respectable family that went from Spain to Flanders in the sixteenth century. He was thoroughly educated. His parents did not wish him to be a musician, but finally allowed him to study the violin and harmony with a German named Baumann at the Conservatory of Music at Lille. Lalo afterward went to Paris, and entered the class of Habeneck at the Conservatory of Music to perfect himself as a violinist. Not staying long at the Conservatory, he took lessons in composition of Schulhoff, the pianist, and Crèvecoeur. He earned his living by playing the viola in the Armingaud-Jacquard Quartet. This Quartet was organized in 1855. Its programmes were chiefly of chamber music by leading German composers, for those were the days when the romances of Loísa Puget, and variations of themes from popular operas, were in favor, while chamber music was little cultivated or esteemed in France. The concerts of this Quartet were in fashion, however, for many years.
Lalo's first compositions were pieces for the violin and piano (Op.
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1, 2, 4, 5, 6); a trio, C minor, classical in form and influenced by Beethoven (Op. 7); two melodies for baritone (1848); “Le Novice,” a scene for baritone (1849); six romances with words by Béranger (1849); six melodies with text by Victor Hugo (published in 1856); a sonata for pianoforte and violin, Op. 12; two pieces for pianoforte and violoncello, Op. 14; an Allegro in E-flat major for pianoforte and violoncello; “Soirées Parisiennes,” three pieces for violin and pianoforte; a second trio in B minor; a sonata for pianoforte and violoncello. Several of his works were played at a concert of the ArmingaudJacquard Quartet in April, 1859: the Allegro for pianoforte and violoncello, the second trio, and a string quartet in E-flat major, which was originally Op. 19, but afterward rewritten and published in a new form as Op. 45 in 1888. The great public did not know him, but musicians respected him, and some of his compositions were played in Germany before they were played in France. A period of discouragement and inaction followed. He gave up composition, married in 1865 one of his pupils, Julie Marie Victoire Bernier de Maligny, a handsome contralto often heard at the concerts of the Société Nationale, and contented himself with playing concerts of chamber music. In 1867 the Minister of State proposed a competition for an opera. Beauquier gave the libretto of an opera in three acts, “Fiesque,” . founded on Schiller's “Fiesco,” to Lalo. The prize was awarded to Phillipot. Soon after 1870 there was rivalry among French composers of orchestral and chamber music. Lalo took courage, and girded up his loins. His style became more individual, bolder. His violoncello sonata was played on January 27, 1872, at a concert of the Société Nationale. Several songs are of this day: Trois Mélodies with words by Alfred de Musset,_*A une fleur,” “Chanson de Barberine,” “La Zuecca”; “Le Fenaison” and “L’Esclave” (words by Gautier); and “Souvenir" (words by V. Hugo). A Divertissement for orchestra