Watercolour of a Cello Player – Pablo Casals

‘Alison & her Cello’ # 6 1999
approx 30 x 40 cm
© The Artist.

Yesterday’s post about Menuhin & Romani violinist got me reminiscing about the time a rare bird flew into my studio. A young American trying out France, a concert cello-ist, classically trained, an orchestra player on the west coast, with a very beautiful antique cello (which withstood the airflight), a music teacher….. all that talent with a career path but in love, in France (not with me, I was only her art teacher), footloose & soaking up Europe.

Alison played beautifully. We talked about Pablo Casals. The above drawing is one of her playing a saraband from one of Bach’s solo cello. Very beautiful, very vigorous, very ‘earthy’ (which is not to say dirty but rather something that has it’s roots outside of upper-class cultural clichés).


” Ce qui j’admire particuliérement en lui, c’est sa firme attitude à l’égard des oppresseurs, mais également à l’endroit des opportunistes tourjours prêts à pactiser avec le diable. Il a su comprendre, avec beaucoup de clairvoyance, que le monde corut un plus grand danger de la part de ceux qui tolérant le mal on l’encouragant, que de la part de ceux-là mêmes qui le cormettent.”

rough translation in haste : what i particularly admired in him, was his firm attitude in regard to not only the oppressors, but equally to the opportunists always ready to make a pact with the devil. he knew & understood, with a great deal of foresight, that the world runs a greater danger from the part of those who tolerate evil,& thus encourage evil than from the part of those very ones who commit evil.