The Power of Silence

Based on Pablo Casals's life in exile
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A work of historical fiction, revealing the most humane and least known side of world-renowned musician, Pau Casals. It is a story of courage and determination that resounds like a melody in praise of art and freedom.

In the mid-1940's, Pau Casals was considered  one of the most highly regarded musicians of the time. He was living in exile in Prada de Conflent (France), near the border of his homeland, Catalonia, where he offered help to Spanish Republican families in meeting their basic needs, while also having to steering clear of the Gestapo, which controlled that area.

When World War II ended, Casals hoped that the Allied victory would also lead to the end of the Franco dictatorship in Spain.  But that wish did not come true and, as a result, the master musician chose not to perform in public as long as Franco remained in his position as dictator and the Western powers didn't take steps to bring him down. The power of silence.

As he struggled to make ends meet by offering cello classes, one of his students, a boy named Pierre, was upset by the fact that a master such as Pau Casals was not sharing his talent with the world at large. The young man tried to convince his mentor to rethink his protest, arguing that by giving a concert he would call even more attention to the unjust situation in Spain.

It just so happened that 1950 was the 200th year of Bach's death  and, as Casals was a world expert on Johann Sebastian Bach,  Pierre's pleas gained support from numerous musicians, friends and followers of Pau Casals─among them the famous violinist, Alexander Schneider─and together they convinced him to change his mind.

The definitive argument which brought Pau Casals back to the public stage, was the daring and extraordinary idea of gathering  top musicians  from around the world for a concert in Prada de Conflent in honor of Bach. Not only was the event a great international success but also the first step towards Pau Casals' return to the limelight, and in short order he became a standard-bearer for the cause of freedom around the world.