Casals, Pablo. (1876-1973) & Cortot, Alfred. (1877-1962) & Thibaud, Jacques. (1880-1953) & Moór, Emánuel. (1863–1931)
Original Photograph Playing Chess
Rare and unusual vintage sepia postcard photograph of the celebrated Casals-Cortot-Thibaud trio playing chess with the Hungarian composer, pianist, and musical instrument inventor Emánuel Moór (at the right.) Faded, but otherwise fine. 5.25 x 3.5 inches (13.5 x 8.8 cm).
The Hungarian composer Emánuel Moór is best-known for his invention, the Emánuel Moór Pianoforte, which consisted of two keyboards lying one above each other and allowed one hand to play a spread of two octaves. Despite Moór's notoriously difficult personality, Pablo Casals was one of his greatest champions and frequently programmed his music, later writing: "The first time that I heard a work by Emanuel Moór, I exclaimed to him, 'You are a genius!' After more than forty years, I re-affirm this opinion." Moór's large output includes several large works for cellos.
"The friends formed their trio in 1905, soon after Casals moved to the Villa Molitor in the Auteuil district of Paris. At first they performed for fun — they enjoyed each other’s company and liked playing tennis together — but in 1906 they expanded to private soirées and in June 1907 they gave three concerts at the Salle des Agriculteurs in Paris. These appearances were so successful that they began to tour Europe as a trio. Their repertoire was small, just 33 works, and in essence amounted to the handful of pieces they recorded, plus Schumann’s Trio in G minor and the two of Beethoven’s Trios, Op. 70." After their last performance in 1934, the trio "continued after a fashion, with Pierre Fournier taking the place of Casals, who was now too busy to find the time for a regular chamber music partnership, but in any case the Catalan broke with his two friends over their political stances during World War II, and although he made it up with Cortot, he and Thibaud were never reconciled." (Tully Potter)