The Voice of Casals
ROGER MORELLÓ has intercalated three sarabands from the Suites for Cello Solo by Johann Sebastian Bach. The first is the one included in the Suite No. 1, whose prelude served as primary material for the work by Marc Migó. The second saraband that appears is the one from the Suite No. 2, which is in the key of D minor, and the third is the E flat major saraband. Along with these pieces, we encounter the Suite for Cello Solo by Gaspar Cassadó – a renowned Casals pupil and one of the most legendary violoncellists of the twentieth century as well as a composer. Along with this piece, Morelló has added his cello arrangement of an original work for viola da gamba from Les voix humaines by Marin Marais, which is the piece that lends this album its title.
Transmission of a Legacy
The Transmission of a Legacy to the Contemporary World
Roger Morelló, who has toured throughout much of Europe and during these travels has performed as a soloist and with other musicians on numerous concert stages, has just reached the milestone marking his thirtieth year. Over the years he has received many forms of academic and artistic recognition and now has scheduled a stop for a new album and to consider the past and the future between the two horizons that he unites with his instrument. He is a violoncellist who demonstrates in every project that the cello is an instrument that communicates ideas transcending the musical sphere. He is a violoncellist of the twenty-first century who does not want to forget all that the twentieth century gave to his instrument and to music. At the same time, however, he wants to root this legacy anew in the contemporary world. And here he does so in the form of a discographic homage to the immortal person of Pau Casals, the musician from El Vendrell – like Morelló, a Tarragonian – who has continued to embody a musical myth for the members of many generations, including his own.
Morelló revisits the tradition focusing on the name of Casals and forges new paths of connection for us between time and creation. With his commissions, interpretations, and recordings of new works, the young Catalonian violoncellist intends to offer a musical homage to the humanistic values that Casals succeeded in transmitting to the entire world with music and to do so in order to experience them anew. Every time that Casals played El cants dels ocells, as Morelló affirms, he made “music surmount barriers, make us happier, and communicate to us the value of peace.” With this same objective, he has designed an album in which contemporary composition coexists with the more canonical interpretive repertoire of the cello and is combined with the popular spirit that inspires it.
To achieve this goal, Morelló has intercalated three sarabands from the Suites for Cello Solo by Johann Sebastian Bach. The first is the one included in the Suite No. 1, whose prelude served as primary material for the work by Marc Migó. The second saraband that appears is the one from the Suite No. 2, which is in the key of D minor, and the third is the E flat major saraband. Along with these pieces, we encounter the Suite for Cello Solo by Gaspar Cassadó – a renowned Casals pupil and one of the most legendary violoncellists of the twentieth century as well as a composer. Along with this piece, Morelló has added his cello arrangement of an original work for viola da gamba from Les voix humaines by Marin Marais, which is the piece that lends this album its title.
Side by side with these historical references that have become timeless, Roger Morelló includes two contemporary works. One of them is formed by the Variations on the name of Casals by Marc Migó, a work commissioned by Morelló himself, to whom it is also dedicated. This work for cello consists of two parts: a Prelude and a Sardana woven together with many musical allusions, both to popular Catalonian themes and to works forming part of the world repertoire. We can detect references to works such as Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which Casals conducted with his orchestra in the Palau de la Música Catalana, as well as the theme of his celebrated sardana Sant Martí del Canigó and the so very famous motif of the song that has become a hymn for peace: El cant dels ocells. Migó also combines the melody from Leonard Bernstein’s “America“ with references to Franz Schubert’s string quartet “Death and the Maiden” and with the motif of the sardana in Cassadó’s Suite for Cello Solo.
The other contemporary composition that Morelló wanted to include on this album is a work that he commissioned from Elisenda Fábregas, who in turn dedicated it to him. It has Catalan dances as its title and consists of four dances: an opening dance, a dance of amorous tale, a ceremomial dance of purification, and memories of sardana. It is all a compendium of the soul of the Catalonian region in which Casals was born and that imbues the atmosphere of this album with popular music.
In this discographic production Roger Morelló revives the humanistic spirit of Casals with the voice of his violoncello, as a solo performer, and situates it once again in the time of the infinite present that is music.
Mònica Pagès i Santacana
Roger Morelló Ros
Roger Morelló Ros (Reus 1993) es un violonchelista comprometido, expresivo y lleno de imaginación, con una inmensa capacidad de conexión con los demás que le convierte en un canal de comunicación que une creador, creación y público. Sus interpretaciones desprenden una pasión, autenticidad y espontaneidad que interpelan tanto al público como a los programadores de toda Europa, en salas como la Filarmónica de Berlín, el Palau de la Música Catalana, el Auditorio Pau Casals, o La Pedrera/Casa Milà, de la que ha sido Artista Residente 2018/19.
Es ganador de más de 30 becas y premios en concursos nacionales e internacionales, y ha sido invitado en importantes festivales, como el Verbier Festival, Rheinhessen Musikfestival, Euregio Musikfestival, MozArte Festival, entre muchos otros.
Estudia con David Blay en Vila-seca, Damian Martínez en Musikene, y luego se traslada a Alemania para estudiar un Master y un Diploma de Solista con Maria Kliegel en la Universidad de Música de Colonia, finalizando con matrícula de honor y apoyado por la Fundación Humboldt, la Deutschslandstipendium y la Beca Güell. Roger es Miembro de Honor de Une Clé de Sol pour une Étoile, una organización que trabaja en pro de niños desfavorecidos mediante la música, y también ha sido miembro de la Fundación Yehudi Menuhin, que incluye llevar a cabo conciertos sociales.
Con su deseo de atraer a un público más amplio, el álbum Schumann goes Tango fue publicado por Austrian Gramophone a principios de 2022. Destaca también su labor como Director Artístico del Festival Bach 2 Basics de Málaga que culminó con la grabación de un CD. Además, ha sido retransmitido por la Radio Nacional de España, por Catalunya Música y por la BBC.