He was the third of five children from the marriage between Joaquim Cassadó, composer and church musician, and Agustina Moreu. At the age of five he began to study music with his father and at the age of seven he began taking cello lessons from Dionisio March. The talent that Gaspar and his brother Agustí immediately showed led the father to make the decision to move with them to Paris in 1907. There, Gaspar was pupil of Pau Casals. He studied harmony and composition with Maurice Ravel and he became a great friend of Manuel de Falla, Alfredo Casella and Ricard Viñes. In 1914, at the beginning of the First World War, he returned to Barcelona where he devoted himself to doing concerts throughout Spain. In 1918 he started an international career with concerts in France and Italy. In 1920 he made his first tour in America. The first work composed by him was "La filadora, el rellotge i el galan" for cello and piano, released in 1922. Composition was part, from that moment, of the development of his creative personality. During the thirties he moved to Florence. From 1946 he was a professor at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and from 1958 on at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.
Endowed with great personality and sympathy, he was considered by critics as one of the great cellists of the moment. His interpretations were characterized by great passion and the expressive intensity of an unmistakable sound that in many moments reached true mastery. In addition to forming a duo with his wife, the Japanese pianist Chieko Hara, he collaborated with musicians such as Arthur Rubinstein, José Iturbi, Alicia de Larrocha or Yehudi Menuhin. He played a Stradivarius, owned by the Mendelssohn family, a Guarnerius and a Villaume.
Cassadó is remembered as a composer of a few cello pieces that are part of the cellists' usual repertoire. However, it must be remembered that his work is more extensive and includes sixty original works for various instruments and formations, and eighty transcriptions. His highly eclectic music shows an important influence on Spanish folklore and shows clear connections with French music and the great Central European romantic tradition.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW BETTER THE ARTIST?
Gaspar Cassadó Archive in the Tamagawa University of TokioJoaquim Cassadó Archive in the Biblioteca de Catalunya
Four Spanish pieces
, for piano
, for cello and piano
String Quartet No 2
String Quartet No 3
, para guitarra