On October 22, 1973 Pau Casals died in San Juan de Puerto Rico, at the age of 96. To commemorate this anniversary the Pau Casals Foundation, together with the Orfeó Català-Palau de la Música Catalana Foundation and with the support of the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya, have organized a special concert with the world premiere of the reduced version of the oratorio “El Pesebre” that the Pau Casals Foundation commissioned, with the follow-up and support of Marta Casals, to the maestro Antoni Ros Marbà.
The purpose of this reduced version of the oratorio “El Pesebre” by Pau Casals has been to make it possible for smaller orchestral ensembles to perform this work. The basis is the instrumentation of Enric Casals, brother and close collaborator of maestro Pau Casals. This ensures that the character and spirit of the work, which was composed during the years of exile in Prades, have been fully preserved.
“El Pesebre” is one of Pau Casals’ most emblematic works, composed between 1943 and 1946 on a poem by Joan Alavedra and orchestrated by his brother Enric, it is a theme of peace, purity of feeling, faith and hope. On December 17, 1960 the oratorio “El Pesebre” was premiered in Acapulco, Mexico.
Two years later, after having devoted much of his energies to the struggle for world peace, and motivated and inspired by the concert he had given at the United Nations in 1958, on December 1, 1960, the first concert was held in Acapulco, Mexico.