I’urtwanglcr, the great German conductorrnwho had gone into exile in protestrnagainst I htler—but who had neverthelessrnbeen barred from the United Statesrnbecause of alleged support of the Nazis.rnCasals placed Furtwangler among therntwo or three greatest conductors of therntime, but felt that he had remained inrnNazi Germany a little too long beforerntaking refuge in Switzerland.rn”LiCt me tell vou,” Casals said. “Furtwanglerrncame to see me in Switzerlandrnjust before the Nazi collapse. I told him,rn’Eer man to his conscience. You owernme no explanations as to what your truernfeelings were.’ i am a musician,’ he said.rn’I want to make music’ ‘Be patient,’ I answeredrnhim. ‘You arc luckv that Switzerlandrnwelcomed vou.'” Given his ownrnhistor- of exile, I thought this somewhatrnungenerous. But what I really wantedrnwas to ask him to describe how he hadrnexpanded the range and the capacity ofrnthe cello, putting his stamp on the wayrne’ervone after him would plav it. But thernlack of “dignitv” of Roosevelt, Truman,rnEisenhower, and Churchill was what hernwanted to discuss. Ills need for musicalrnperformance, which he had sacrificed forrnears to make a political statement, wasrner real and verv poignant, and hernreferred to it several times to punctuaternhis political sentiments. I might have argued,rnbut it would have been in bad tasternto challenge his feelings on the SpanishrnCiil War, so I simplv listened. But herntoo could not limit himself to this, andrnhe turned to what was most importantrnto him as an artist—the music of Bach.rnFor Casals, Bach was the greatest geniusrnin music, and he more or less paraphrasedrnwhat 1 later learned he had writtenrnat the time of the Bach Festival atrnPradcs. “The miracle of Bach cannot bernfound in any other art. To bare humanrnnature until its divinitv becomes clear, tornmake eternal what is ephemeral—tornmake the diine human and the humanrndiine—that is Bach, the purest andrngreatest in music of all time.” He hadrnonl- scorn for those who plaved Bach asrnif his compositions consisted of “technicalrnelex’crncss” when in fact Bach’s musicrn”ibrated with sensitiitv. All emotionrnhas been expressed by him.” He pausedrnand smiled. “Bach is a volcano—and arntotal creature of his music. He was so farrnahead of his time that if he returned toda,rnhe would be considered a musicalrnreolutionar-.”rnBut Bach was not his only great hero,rnand during today’s “revival,” what hernsaid about “Papa” I laydn is both significantrnand incisive. “Haydn had an imaginationrnthat knew no end and a marvelousrnpoetic spirit that went along withrnthe soliditv of his musical architecture.rnFrom our present musical chaos willrncome, I am sure, a rediscovery of I laydnrnand a greatness which has been little recognized.rnHe escapes any kind of classification,rnand his tremendous power ofrninvention, among the greatest of anyrncomposer, makes his music a constantrnsurprise. No matter how many times yournhear it or play it, you continue to findrnsomething new in it.” 1 said little, butrnmy restraint must have been eloquentrnbecause Casals concluded the interviewrnby inviting me to the final rehearsal ofrnthe Festival Casals orchestra, which hernwas conducting. He would be interestingrnto watch because, though he was notrnin the highest rank among conductors,rnhe believed that great conductingrnconsisted not only of understanding thernmusic but of an empathy betweenrnthe orchestra and the man with thernbaton.rnI was the only member of the pressrnpresent at that rehearsal. How a conductorrntakes an orchestra through its pacesrnfells you much about his approachrnto music. The orchestra was runningrnthrough Mozart’s A Major Symphony,rnand Casals was happily swinging hisrnbaton and his body in time to the music,rnsinging the themes a la ‘Foscanini,rnthough in a much better voice. In thernmiddle of the Andante, Casals suddenlyrndropped his hand, put down his baton,rnand painfully began walking off thernstage, supported by Alexander Schneider,rnthe eoneertmaster. Casals was palernand composed, fighting the pain of hisrnheart attack until he was in his dressingrnroom. There he collapsed. They tookrnhim away in an ambulance, and as he wasrncarried out on a stretcher, he turned hisrnhead to look into the concert hall andrnsaid, “Que lastima, que lastima, quernmaravillosa orquesta.” I had my story, anrneyewitness account of an event carriedrnsecondhand by the world press, butrnNewsweek’s music editor was more interestedrnin the who-shot-John of the Met’srninternecine battles, and it never ran.rnPablo Casals did not conduct or playrnhis cello at the Festival Casals, but thernpeasant strength of his body carried himrnthrough, and he returned to recordingrnand concertizing. But that brief encounterrnwith Casals and what today wernloosely call charisma had cut deep, and Irnbegan listening analytically to his playingrnand to what he gave to it beyond thatrnmusicianly and intuitive translation of arncomposer’s intent which set him so farrnabove other cellists, and his ability to cutrnthrough time and recreate in our con-rnChronicles magazine accepts advertisingrnfrom reputable book publishers andrndistributors and from companies sellingrneducational and cidtural productsrncompatible with the magazine’srnpurpose and standards. /-rnAlthough we try to verifyrnclaims made by advertisers,rnpublication of an ad does not inrnany way constitute an endorsementrn*rnChroniclesrnADVERTISING DEFT.rn934 N. MAIN ST.rnR0CKF0RD,1L 61103rn815-964-5813rnSEPTEMBER 1996/47rnrnrn