In conversation with my clients, I am greatly surprised that some ask me, whose is that beautiful villa on the beach in San Salvador. For the inhabitants of the area, that house on the seafront is our main emblem, it is our pride, our bridge to the outside, to the world. It is a summer house, from the beginning of the last century, with a beautiful garden that shows us its cobbled ground with colored pebbles, which form a tapestry of geometric drawings among the flower beds, in which, especially, the roses. Roses with their own name, the Pau Casals.
This beautiful place keeps the essence of the most illustrious and beloved character in our town, Pau Casals. A world-renowned musician, born in El Vendrell, capital of the region, where his native home is also located. The villa in question was a place of summering, of recollection, of creation and enjoyment of the musician. In it, his life and part of his legacy are exposed, his memory is preserved, and we are grateful for his great artistic work, but also human. Why Pau Casals, was a man of firm convictions, defender of peace, justice, and human rights.
A music genius, a cello scholar, he changed man's relationship with the instrument. Listening to his solo in suite nº1 Bach, you perceive that he makes the difficult easy, an exclusive merit of the great geniuses. His music and spirit live on in the Festival dedicated to him, and that we can enjoy every summer in the Auditorium opposite the museum villa. But what I want to highlight, from him, is the human part. Pau Casals, I take advantage of his worldwide recognition to give voice to injustices, defend peace, and value the freedom of man, he put before him his personal convictions, his values, his passion for music, his great love. In protest against the barbarism of a gerra, I stop performing in concerts, I leave a well-off public life, full of recognition as a prestigious musician, to stay as a teacher of young performers, in the town of Prades de Conflent, a small town on the other side of the pyrenees.
Exiled, he deprived us of his masterful performances for many years, by a promise, not to act any longer while there was social injustice. Until, thanks to a concert organized by friendly musicians, he managed to reconcile with himself. Breaking the unfair paradox that had occurred with his silence.
Pau Casals stood out for his interpretations but also for his musical creations. I am particularly excited by the Cant del Ocells, an emblem of our town. A melancholic, evocative song that denotes longing and sadness, but also hope. The hope of a new dawn, of a time of freedom. The composition the Manger, which he carried in concert around the world was another of his best-known creations. He participated with the most prestigious orchestras around the world. In 1958 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his defense of human rights. Discreet man but with great character, he helped save many lives from the holocaust.
In 1961, he played in the White House, where his activism in favor of human rights and freedom was recognized. He was commissioned to create the United Nations anthem, which premiered in 1971 on October 24, it was that day, when he was awarded the Peace medal. During the event, he gave the most emotional speech I have ever heard. "What is more, I am a Catalan". Just remembering it takes my breath away.
All this, all this life full of values, love of music, you will find it, strolling through that delicious villa folded with white roses, its roses.