Patterico's Pontifications


Mstislav Rostropovich Dead

Filed under: Music — Patterico @ 12:30 am

Rostropovich is dead.

Terrible news.

(H/t Joseph.)

5 Responses to “Mstislav Rostropovich Dead”

  1. Imagine the cello duets he and Casals are playing in the afterlife.


    Rest In Peace, Slava.

    Robert (91f2c5)

  2. Rostropovich’s passing was mentioned as an “also died this week” afterthought this morning on NPR, when they played some of his music at the end of a 2-minute paen to David Halberstam. It was mentioned with obvious admiration that it was Halberstam who credited himself with having started the ball rolling to “end” the Vietnam war, and who said he thought of himself as more a “playwright” than a reporter. That was some epic tragedy you wrote there, David.

    Given the choice between a feature on one the greatest musicians of our time, and a journalist who has the blood of millions of boatpeople and death-camp victims on his hands, I suppose that was a pretty easy call for NPR.

    I am pretty sure these two men who died this past week aren’t going to be running into each other in the afterlife.

    sherlock (a520b0)

  3. I am not sure that Rostropovich would agree with you.

    I had a friend who had intestinal cancer and suffered much in his final days on this earth.

    He told me that all he wanted to do was die a dignified death and asked me to get his doctors to end it.

    So, it was not “terrible,” it was wanted.

    Papa Ray

    Papa Ray (035e8c)

  4. I heard a small sound bite of Yo Yo Ma commenting on his death, and it was moving because you knew that Slava’s work really meant something to Yo Yo in a way I could only understand by extension.

    It also reminds me of when Johnny Lee Hooker died. No one seemed to notice because Carol O’Conner died the next day or the day before or something. In the grand scheme of things, Hooker’s contributions to art, culture and society as a whole were large, to say the least. O’Conner wasn’t celebrated for his contributions, but for his ideology.

    Ray G (50194a)

  5. On the MSM outlet I saw, he was the rival in death of Jack Valenti. But to them the interest was not so much in his music–they preferred to emphasize his stint with the NSO over his ‘cello work–as his dissidency under Brezhnev and his exile from Russia.
    (They did Halberstam the night before, and did not mention any details except for the titles of two of his books.)
    But it says something that some of the greatest composers of the 20th century wrote some of their best works for him (Britten, Shostakovich, and Penderecki are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.)
    I’m not sure which of his recordings as a cellist stand out above the rest, but as conductor perhaps his best work I’ve heard was the Shostakovich symphonies he recorded with the LSO (5,8,11), and which might be the definitive recordings of those works (the LSO’s self produced LSO Live label).

    kishnevi (5c0e2a)

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