Pablo Casals - One of the world's greatest Cellists.
Pablo Casals – One of the world’s greatest Cellists.

BBC World Service – London Column – July 18, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

While the war continued in the Pacific, only weeks away from its final end, Europe was slowly putting the shattered pieces back together, clearing away the wreckage and starting on the long road to recovery.

The BBC World Service, as part of its weekly series London Column, focused on the rebuilding and the adjustment to peace in one area of the world, while war was still raging in another.

Among the stories of recovery and the return to semi-normal life on July 18, 1945, is an interview with the legendary Cellist Pablo Casals, who was living in occupied France throughout the war. He was finally returning to the concert stage after a self-imposed exile and refusal to perform while the war in Europe was going on. In this interview he talks about how the Germans repeatedly came to visit him at his home, and had attempted to persuade him to perform in Germany during the war, and his adamant refusal to participate or even play for the occupying Germans in private.

A snapshot of life in Europe and a rare, seldom-heard interview with one of the great musicians of the 20th century on this July 18th, 70 years ago.

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