Gaspar Cassadó: a study of Catalan cello arrangements and cello performance style

Kaufman, Gabrielle (2013) Gaspar Cassadó: a study of Catalan cello arrangements and cello performance style. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.


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This thesis explores the legacy of Catalan cellist and composer Gaspar Cassadó (1897–1966). It provides a summary of his life and legacy, an analysis of his performance style and transcription style, and explores the implications of the findings for the related fields of Catalan and Spanish twentieth-century music, musical transcription and twentieth-century cello performance. The text is complemented with a CD containing recordings of cello works by Cassadó performed by the author of this thesis, as well as the first attempt to list definitively Cassadó’s compositions, transcriptions and recordings, which are found in Appendices I–IV. Cassadó’s performance style is analysed mainly through recording comparisons between him and a number of cellists connected with his cultural and historical background. The comparisons conclude that Cassadó, although displaying certain similarities with other cellists in the comparison, cannot truly be said to have belonged to a tradition or generation based solely on performance characteristics; instead more general aspects of approach, philosophy and influence exerted on other performers need to be taken into account. The discussion of his transcriptions includes a study of music transcription history and the related area of language translation, to provide a context for a number of case studies, analysing genres and styles within Cassadó’s output. The study concludes that a definite attempt is perceptible on Cassadó’s part to widen the concept of cello transcription as creative practice, as well as to approach the great historical exponents in the field, such as Franz Liszt. It also emphasises the unusual breadth in styles and types of his output. An additional commentary relates the author’s own performance experience of Cassadó’s works, especially with regard to performing several unpublished works and first-hand study with one of Cassadó’s disciples. Some conclusions from this commentary include a number of interpretative details of possible use for the future performer of Cassadó’s works, with the intention not to be prescriptive but rather to open up new and stimulating possibilities for the performances of this repertoire, keeping in mind Cassadó’s own practice of using performances as a workshop to improve musical scores.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
March 2013Completed
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Richard Birley
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 13:56
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:54

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