Casals and the Art of the Interpretation by David Blum: Review

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Garry Morales Urbina
Book Report
13 April 2012
Casals and the Art of the Interpretation – David Blum
David Blum (Los Angeles CA, 1935) wrote this book to show how a great master as Casals thought about the materialization of emotions to express what music needs to. Moreover, he provides fundamental concepts which Casals sometimes called “law of music” or “laws of nature” – concepts which he considered to be essential elements of meaningful interpretation and applicable to all forms of musical expressions. (Blum, 10) Then the purpose of this book is not biographic but how he applied these concepts in music. Hence, Blum took notes from rehearsals and master classes, in private discussions with him and at chamber music rehearsals at his home. The First Principle

“Technique, wonderful sound…all of this is sometimes astonishing but it is not enough” Casals said, during a rehearsal of Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll”, “Every note must sing.” He would often begin a rehearsal by working in detail; a quarter of an hour could be devoted to two or three phrases. “Every note has to have a different sonority.” In this process he always encouraged musicians to take risks to be expressive. Finding the design

“Remember that all music, in general, is a succession of rainbows” Expressive inflection as an indispensable element in musical performance, and the introduction of expressive markings into musical scores, are historically tow different matters. “Variety,” Casals would say, “is a great word – in music as in everything; variety is a law of nature. Good music has never monotony. (…) We must give to a melody its natural life. When the simple things and natural rules that are forgotten are put in the music – then the music comes out!” These “natural rules” were born of logic based upon intuition, the elemental forces around and within us. Our thoughts, fantasies, emotions, and dreams flow in waves, expanding to varying points of culmination before subsiding. “Nature never stays...
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