Pablo Casals II

The distinguished English cellist, Christopher Bunting has just died. His obituary in The Guardian today includes the following…

‘In 1952,just before leaving for Prades, near Perpignan, to take up a scholarship with Pablo Casals, Bunting gave an acclaimed recital at the Wigmore Hall, London with the pianist Gerald Moore. Casals had an approach to music-making that required microscopic analysis of the text, and it took Bunting time to adjust to the sheer level of detail his new teacher demanded; this combination of analysis and musical intuition subsequently formed the backbone of Bunting’s own teaching.

His pupils, who came from many parts of the world, were taught the bowing and fingering of Casals as a matter of routine and he used to quote Casals’ remark that ‘the difficulty of cello playing is to know how to get from one note to the next’’. Also referring in The Guardian’s piece to Bunting’s death, an ex student writes, ‘ I made the fortnightly journey down Hampstead high street to Christopher’s garden flat.

His home was a shrine to earlier great cellists, notably Casals.’

Thus the prime exponent of his art is remembered through the work of his many pupils and the tradition and disciplines that inspired his own playing, lives on.