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My first meeting with Pablo Casals was in 1951 when I as a young student (with no money) biked all the way from Copenhagen to the Casals Festival in Perpignan (1400 miles). During an orchestra rehearsal the 74-year-old Casals suffered a severe illness. Casals received medical attention and was later able to conduct the concert. At the end of the concert Casals played The Song of the Birds. The effect was overwhelming; everyone in the orchestra and audience wept. It was a powerful experience. People thought it was Casals' very last performance (after his collapse a week earlier). No one could have known that he would live 22 years after this incredible event. I have never forgotten that experience and I am delighted to offer an arrangement of this beautiful song for a cello ensemble.
-Hans Erik Deckert
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