Many of the meetings between mentor and protégé took place in cities where Sir Colin was conducting. Caballé-Domenech would attend Sir Colin’s rehearsals and concerts and sit in on Sir Colin’s master classes. But Caballé-Domenech had his own career to cultivate, appearing in cities from Stockholm to Pamplona and Odense to Barcelona. The question then was how to develop their relationship?
Sir Colin’s ingenious solution for initiating a dialogue was to urge Caballé-Domenech in the direction of literature. To begin with, he provided volumes from his own library, beginning with Friedrich Schiller’s Don Carlos. Next, Sir Colin thought of Die Rauber (The Highwayman), a wild melodrama of Schiller’s youth, and a cardinal document of the movement known as Sturm und Drang.
Ultimately perhaps what will most impact Caballé-Domenech in the years to come will be the sense of ease and the playfulness he witnessed in his time with Sir Colin. “All the things conductors think they should do, they have to unlearn. Maybe what I have to offer is this sort of unlearning, urging Josep to look between the bar lines, to consider the whole flexibility of music, all the different things you can make it mean.”