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Mstislav Rostropovich - Cello Concerto & Saint-Saens /  Cello Concerto No 1 -  (CD)

Mstislav Rostropovich - Cello Concerto & Saint-Saens / Cello Concerto No 1 - (CD)

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 Rostropovich, the master cellist, has a deep understanding of the Dvořák Concerto. Here his playing is coloured by the grace of Giulini's interpretation and by the beautifully lyrical accompaniment.' Gramophone This key title is being reissued at a special price as part of the celebration of Rostropovich - "Cellist of the Century" - Not only was Rostropovich a towering musician, he became a figure of international humanitarian and political significance: he and his wife, the celebrated soprano Galina Vishnevskaya (1926-2012), were exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 (and deprived of Soviet citizenship in 1978) for their support of the dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whom they offered refuge in their home. - In 1970 Rostropovich had written an open letter advocating artistic freedom. It was refused publication by the Soviet newspaper Pravda, but was published in the West. It read: "Every man must have the right fearlessly to think independently and express his opinion about what he knows, what he has personally thought about and experienced, and not merely to express with slightly different variations the opinion which has been inculcated in him." - In November 1989, at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rostropovich gave an impromptu solo recital at the spot known as Checkpoint Charlie. - Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya did not return to Russia until 1990, the era of glasnost and perestroika, when Mikhail Gorbachev rehabilitated them; Rostropovich played an active role in promoting ideological change at this momentous time. - In 1991, at the time of the August Putsch - when Communist hardliners attempted to wrest control from Gorbachev - Rostropovich armed himself with a gun to defend the Russian Parliament against attack. - He and his wife established the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation, which focuses on large-scale vaccination programmes. To date, it's programmes have benefited more than 10 million people in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.

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