by Nathaniel J. Chaitkin

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Maryland, College Park in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Musical Arts

Advisory Committee:

Professor Evelyn Elsing, Chair/Advisor
Professor Gerald Fischbach
Professor Richard King
Professor David Salness
Professor Peter Beicken, Dean's Representative

Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966) achieved great success as both cellist and composer. He was the leading student of fellow Catalonian Pablo Casals, and studied composition with Maurice Ravel and Manuel de Falla. Many of his original works and transcriptions for cello are still played today. This dissertation examines Cassado's distinguished career as performer, composer, arranger and inventor. The first chapter of the paper outlines Cassado' s life and career, focusing in particular on his relationship with his mentor Casals. Cassadó enjoyed a thriving career in the 1920s and 1930s, but his reputation suffered enormously after World War II, when many musicians, led by Casals, accused Cassadó of having collaborated with the fascist government of Italy, where he had lived during the conflict. However, there is little or no evidence that Cassadó was a collaborator, and some to suggest the contrary. Special attention will be given to Casals' questionable attack on Cassadó and the devastating impact that it had on their friendship, as well as on Cassado's career. Cassadó composed and arranged a great deal of music for cello, as well as writing orchestral and chamber works. This dissertation includes the first definitive list of Cassado's compositions, as well as a discussion of their remarkable diversity. Like the great violinist Fritz Kreisler, Cassadó sometimes attributed his own music to other composers, and this practice is addressed as well.

Gaspar Cassadó was one of the last great composer-performers, and his dual life was clearly represented in the concerts he gave. An appendix to the paper contains several of Cassado's recital programs, and their significance is briefly discussed. The combination of the standard cello repertoire with his own compositions and arrangements made for very personal programs; these concerts were not merely a good combination of pieces, but were a representation of Cassadó himself. His versatility stands out all the more from the perspective of today's highly specialized musical world.




Chapter 1: Cassadó and Casals

Chapter 2: Cassadó's Versatility


Appendix A: List of Works

Appendix B: Recital Programs given by Cassadó

Appendix C: Dissertation Recital Programs


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