Suite in D
Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129
Symphony No. 40
Pau Codina, cello
Orquestra Simfònica Camera Musicae
Salvador Mas, conductor
On 13th October, 1920, the first concert of the Pablo Casals Orchestra (PCO) took place at the Palau de la Música. The orchestra founded and directed by the maestro Casals had a fruitful musical life until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Thanks to those concerts held at the Palau, great works from the history of music could be heard for the first time in Barcelona. Among the musicians who collaborated with the orchestra were Gaspar Cassadó, Wanda Landowska, Alfred Cortot and Conxita Badia. The PCO also invited such great conductors as Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Manuel de Falla, Joaquín Turina or Arnold Schönberg. Exactly 100 years later, the OCM commemorates that first concert with a programme dedicated to the Pablo Casals Orchestra.
The first work in the concert is Suite in D by Johann Sebastian Bach, one of Casals’ most loved composers. Let us remember the role of maestro in reviving Bach’s Cello Suites, which he popularized following his legendary recording. A century earlier, Robert Schumann had already made a first attempt to revive those same suites by reissuing them with a piano accompaniment. Paradoxically, Schuman’s Concerto for cello and orchestra Op. 129, composed in 1850, was never premiered during the composer’s lifetime; it was ten years later when it was heard for the first time. To end the programme, we present one of the works that Pablo Casals conducted most often, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.