Portrait of the cellist as an old man
When, at the age of eighty-one, Casals decided to marry the twenty-year old Marta, his doctor attempted to warn him of the grave consequences this might present for his health.
'It could even,' he suggested, 'be a matter of life or death.'
The lively octogenarian sucked slowly on his pipe, reflecting on his dilemma before replying:
'Well, I look at it this way. If she dies, she dies.'
Photo shows Pablo Casals and Marta . It should be noted that Martita Casals Istomin went on to a distinguished career in music in her own right and is still with us. Story is from the indispensable but sadly out of print Song of the birds - Sayings, stories and impressions of Pablo Casals edited by Julian Lloyd Weber. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Also on Facebook and Twitter.