Casals: Fauré Élégie + Bach Sarabande, BWV 1011 - Philips L 77.408 L
Jacket VG / LP NM-
French pressing - gray label - mono
This excellent gatefold LP from French Philips (L 77.408 L, French pressing, gray label, mono – no stereo edition exists) entitled "Hommage a Pablo Casals" preserves remarkable 'live' performances, as well as a brief rehearsal excerpt, from a concert given at the Grand Amphithéâtre de la Sorbonne, Paris on 10 October 1956 in honor of the great Catalan cellist, conductor, and composer. Among the most intriguing aspects of this memorable concert is the arrangement of Faure's Elegie for Cello and Piano Op. 24 – it is here heard for 10 cellists and orchestra, the participating soloists including such famous names as Andre Levy. In addition, one has the opportunity to hear Casals "live" in the Sarabande from the Suite for Solo Cello in C minor BWV 1011, as well as in rehearsal and as conductor – amazing all.
The exact contents are as follows:
Gabriel Fauré: Elegie for Cello and Orchestra Op. 24 (Rehearsal)
> Pablo Casals, conductor, rehearsing l'Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux and 10 Cellists:
Rudolf von Tobel
Gabriel Fauré: Elegie for Cello and Orchestra Op. 24 (Performance)
> Pablo Casals conducting l'Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux and the 10 above-named cellists
Los Reyes Magos ("The Three Kings")
> Pablo Casals conducting a student orchestra of 112 cellists
Johann Sebastien Bach: Sarabande, from the Suite for Solo Cello No. 5 in C minor BWV 1011
> Pablo Casals, solo cellist
Wrote the super critic Gary Lemco of the Archipel CD release of the Faure for Audiophile Edition: "We have a glimpse into the working methods of the great Catalan cellist, conductor and composer Pablo Casals (1876-1973), rehearsing and performing the Faure Elegie as a vast concerted string ensemble from Paris, at the Grand Amphitheatre de la Sorbonne, October 1956.
"Casals leads his extended (twenty-four minutes) rehearsal in clear articulate French, with palpable changes in tempo, timbre, and phrasing. The eight minute realization exerts a healthy though somber energy, fluid and polished. Casals’ own two composition owe everything to Bach’s chorales, but their enjoy their own sense of graceful, contrapuntal homage to the Infinite, the Sardana’s exuding a more sensuous, frothy surface. The Sardana offers huge sighs, a melodic thrust that more than once recalls a Max Steiner evocation of the Sierre Madre. The audience cheers in huge waves. The Bach Sarabande, introspective and devotional, has that inevitable counterpoint of Casals’ own, guttural singing voice and intake of breath."