“Music will heal the world”

“Music will heal the world.” – Pablo Casals

The tragic events of this week in Boston test the will and hearts of us all, and our thoughts and prayers go to all affected. Even as events continue to unfold, the healing process begins, and Thursday’s beautiful inter-faith service at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross was the first part of that with deeply moving addresses by religious and civic leaders as well as emotional musical performances. The Boston Children’s Chorus fought back tears to deliver their beautiful music to those assembled and the world watching at home, and world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma (a Cambridge, MA resident) performed the stark and haunting Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor. Ma called the piece “a struggle for hope” and that it “represents the strength of the human spirit and, today, the spirit of Boston.”

There have been few people as eloquent and direct in speaking about the emotional power of music as Pablo Casals. He wrote, “Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.” The Catalan cellist, regarded as one of the greatest cellists of all time, was an outspoken advocate for peace, and lived the last 30+ years of his life in exile from his beloved Spain due to Franco’s dictatorial rule. Of anyone, he would grasp the importance of music in the healing of the great city of Boston.

Gaspar Cassadó, who looked to Casals as a teacher and mentor, recorded the Bach Cello Suites in 1957 for Vox. We would like to offer this recording as a small gesture to all those affected by this tragedy.