I only played with Casals on one occasion in the late 1940’s when he played with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
He was a slight, bald little man, very calm and collected, but the marvellous sound he produced seemed to be effortless.
His approach to the music was intellectual – he would bring out certain passages that I had never heard played before in such a manner.
Some years later I was asked to play at the Prades Festival, directed by Casals. Prades was a very prestigious festival and I was anxious to play there. Spain at that time was under the control of General Franco, and Casals, a Spaniard, vowed never to return to Spain whilst he was in power, so he lived in Prades, France, on the Spanish border. At the time I was under contract with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and was denied permission to play at Prades because one of the programmes included a symphony.
It seemed to me that my career would not develop under such constraints, so I left the BBC.