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Dear little cellist,

In this e-letter we're going to tell you about a music shop we visited in Barcelona. The shop is called Casa Beethoven and it is 130 years old!  It's on a very famous street called La Rambla where there are street performers, a bird market and flower stalls - and throngs of people, at every time of day and night.

The music is kept in large old leather box files and the owner, Jaume Doncos, lifted them down for us to search through. Jaume is also a cellist and when he realized we were interested in cello music, he showed us The Song of the Birds (in Catalan it is 'El Cant dels Ocells') which was a piece made famous by Pablo Casals.

Casals was from a region in Spain called Catalonia. He left Spain when General Franco came to power because he didn't agree with Franco's dictatorship. He always wanted to return but said he wouldn't do so until Franco was no longer in power. Casals used to play The Song of the Birds at the end of his recitals to show that he loved his country. 

The Song of the Birds is a traditional Catalan melody for Christmas - so it was the perfect time and place for us to buy it - at Christmas-time in Barcelona (which is the captial of Catalonia). It even happened to be the day before Pablo Casals' birthday which is 29th December. 

So if you are ever in Barcelona, be sure to visit Casa Beethoven and buy The Song of the Birds!

If you want to read more about Casals and hear him play The Song of the Birds, you can visit his page on littlecellist.com.


Christmas decorations at Casa Beethoven (established 1880)
Can you spot the littlecellist flyer on the notice board!


Old leather box files of sheet music


The Song of the Birds 'El Cant dels Ocells' with a manuscript paper
booklet that the owner of Casa Beethoven gave his customers for Christmas.