Cellist Mun Tae-guk pays homage to Pablo Casals with new album

By Im Eun-byel
  • Published : Mar 12, 2019 - 15:17
  • Updated : Mar 12, 2019 - 15:19

Cellist Mun Tae-guk has recently released new album, paying his respect to legendary Spanish cellist Pablo Casals.

The album, released under Warner Classics, is titled, “Songs of the Cello: Homage to Pablo Casals.” According to the label, it is the first time in 23 years for a Korean cellist to release an internationally distributed album under a major label.

“I thank Casals so much. Through him, I met a greater world,” Mun said at a press event held Tuesday at an art hall in central Seoul. 

Cellist Mun Tae-guk and pianist Han Chi-ho perform the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata for Cello and Piano in A Major, during a press event held Tuesday at Munho Art Hall, Gwanghwamun in Seoul. (Credia)

“I prepared the album in respect to Casals. He is a legendary figure to cellists and all musicians,” Mun said. The album holds greater meaning for the 25-year-old cellist, the winner of the 2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition.

“As I listen to Casals’ music, it is so vocal. It is as if each piece tells a story -- much like how a wise grandfather tells old stories,” he said. “Though Casals’ albums were recorded a long time ago, they are more than just old. They are antique.”

The album includes some of the best-known pieces recorded or played by the Spanish cellist.

The first track of the album is Bach’s Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major. In early 1900s, Casals introduced the piece, which had been unknown for nearly 200 years, to the public.

The track is followed by Beethoven Sonata for Cello and Piano in A Major, Schubert’s “An die Musik,” Schumann’s “Dedication” from Myrthen.

Schumann’s “Scenes from Childhood” and Rubinstein’s Melody in F, a part of Casals’ repertoire, are included. The last of the track list is “The Song of the Birds,” Casals’ adaption of Catalan folk song. 

Album image for “Songs of the Cello: Homage to Pablo Casals” (Warner Classics)

For the album, Mun teamed up with pianist Han Chi-ho. The duo recorded the album in Boston. The album was internationally released in February, the local release was delayed in accordance with the performance schedule in late March.

Mun and Han, two prominent artists in their mid-20s, will hold a recital at the Seoul Arts Center on March 22.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)