Tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007)

by Sarah Zupko

27 April 2007

 

Perhaps the greatest cellist of the 20th century and surely one of the finest musicians of our times or of any age, Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80 in a Moscow cancer hospital.  Rostropovich inspired countless composers to develop works for the cello, Shostakovich and Britten among them, and he made the instrument synonymous with his name.  Born in 1927 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the son of a musical family, Rostropovich studied at the Moscow Conservatory with famed Russian composers Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev.  He went on to early fame and was a major influence on all the young cellists following in his wake.  Rostropovich was also a voice of dissendence and a champion of cultural freedom during the Cold War era, resulting in the loss of his Soviet citizenship in 1978.  Rostropovich was a true musical giant and we remember him here with some video highlights, including Bach, Haydn and a six-part rendition of the work most associated with him, Dvořák’s B minor cello concerto.—Sarah Zupko

Rostropovich - Dvořák Cello Concerto - Part 1

Rostropovich - Dvořák Cello Concerto - Part 2

Rostropovich - Dvořák Cello Concerto - Part 3

Rostropovich - Dvořák Cello Concerto - Part 4

Rostropovich - Dvořák Cello Concerto - Part 5

Rostropovich - Dvořák Cello Concerto - Part 6

Rostropovich - Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1

Rostropovich - Bach’s Bourree - Suite No 3

Rostropovich - Haydn Cello Concerto [1981]

 

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