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Track(s) taken from CDA67831

The Song of the Birds

traditional Catalan carol

Alban Gerhardt (cello)
Recording details: June 2010
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 2 minutes 32 seconds

Cover artwork: Photograph of Alban Gerhardt by Sim Canetty-Clarke


'[Gerhardt] and the superb Cecile Licad are wholly successful in this endeavour from the outset … he has created a well-contrasted programme … each work is presented with stylish devotion … this is cello playing of exquisite sophistication and bold imagination' (BBC Music Magazine)

'There is much more to an encore, as Alban Gerhardt will tell you, than casually capping a recital with an audience-pleaser … listen to Gerhardt in Benjamin Godard’s Berceuse de Jocelyn and there is a paradigm of the exceptional eloquence and discernment that distinguishes the entire disc' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Gerhardt's playing [is] less heart-on-sleeve than Casals's own, but wonderfully eloquent and noble: he can be extraordinarily moving in such once-familiar standards as the Berceuse from Godard's Jocelyn, or in Casals's arrangement of Chopin's Raindrop Prelude' (The Guardian)

'Let me not turn tedious with a list of Gerhardt's superior skills, his seamless legato, his command of bowing skills, his generous tone even at the top of the A string, his glowing burnished double stops in the Popper/Chopin Nocturne … it goes without saying, though I better say it, that the playing is immaculate from both players, the sequence of pieces on the CD is nicely contrasted' (International Record Review)
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

Si Pablo Casals avait un répertoire de bis considérable, il y a un morceau qu’il jouait toujours. Comme il l’a expliqué un jour: «J’ai pris l’habitude de conclure mes concerts par la mélodie d’un vieux noël catalan, The Song of the Birds («El cant dels ocells», «Le Chant des oiseaux») cl. C’est un récit de la Nativité, tellement beau et tendre, avec son profond respect pour la vie et pour l’homme, la plus noble expression de la vie! Dans le noël catalan, ce sont les aigles et les moineaux, les rossignols et les petits roitelets qui accueillent l’enfant en chantant, comme une fleur qui va ravir la terre avec son doux parfum.»

extrait des notes rédigées par Peter Avis © 2011
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Obwohl Pablo Casals ein beachtliches Repertoire an Zugaben zur Auswahl hatte, gab es ein Stück, das er jedes Mal spielte. Er erklärte dazu einmal: „Ich nahm die Gewohnheit an, meine Konzerte mit der Melodie eines alten katalanischen Weihnachtsliedes zu beenden, dem Lied der Vögel („El cant dels ocells“) cl. Es ist eine Geschichte von der Geburt Christi; wie schön und liebevoll ist diese Geschichte mit ihrer Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben und vor dem Menschen, der erhabenste Ausdruck des Lebens! In diesem katalanischen Weihnachtslied sind es die Adler und Spatzen, die Nachtigallen und die kleinen Zaunkönige, die dem Neugeborenen ein Willkommen singen, sie singen zu ihm als einer Blume, die die Erde mit ihrem süßen Duft erfreuen wird.“

aus dem Begleittext von Peter Avis © 2011
Deutsch: Arne Muus

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