While Pablo Casals had a considerable repertoire of encores from which to choose, there was one piece that he would always play. As he once explained: ‘I began the custom of concluding my concerts with the melody of an old Catalan carol, The Song of the Birds
[‘El cant dels ocells’] cl. It is a tale of the Nativity; how beautiful and tender is that tale, with its reverence for life and for man, the noblest expression of life! In the Catalan carol it is the eagles and the sparrows, the nightingales and the little wrens who sing a welcome to the infant, singing to him as a flower that will delight the earth with its sweet scent’.
from notes by Peter Avis © 2011