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Mstislav Rostropovich

Composers

Biography

Born: March 27, 1927; Azerbaijan   Died: April 27, 2007; Russia  
Mstislav Rostropovich was one of the great cellists, and one of the leading conductors, of his time. His performances in both arenas were characterized by a direct and strongly emotional style, and the often turbulent events of his life, including exile from his native Soviet Union, often resonated with his music making. His father, Leopold, was an acclaimed cellist and his mother was a professional pianist. In 1931, the family returned to Read more Moscow, where Leopold taught at the Gnesin Institute. Taught by his father from the age of three, "Slava" gave his first recital at eight. He entered the Central Music School in 1939, remaining until 1941. In 1943 he entered the Moscow Conservatory. He studied cello with Semyon Kozolupov and composition with Vissarion Shebalin and Dmitri Shostakovich. He became a musical secretary to composer Sergei Prokofiev, and helped persuade the composer to rewrite his failed cello concerto in E minor as the Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 125, one of the major masterpieces for the instrument.

Rostropovich won the International Competition for Cellists in Prague in 1950, and began to concertize throughout Russia. His first appearance in the West was in Florence in 1951. He married Galina Vishnevskaya, the star soprano of the Bol'shoi Opera. The couple found themselves at odds with the authorities for the first time, since she was then being amorously pursued by Soviet President Nikolai Bulganin, who canceled their long-planned 1956 tour of the West. But Bulganin was losing power to Party Secretary Khrushchev, and the tour was reinstated, allowing Rostropovich to debut in London at the Festival Hall in March and at Carnegie Hall in New York in April. He was immediately hailed as a great international star.

Returning to the U.S.S.R., Rostropovich found composers clamoring to write for him. The greatest of them, Shostakovich, wrote both his cello concertos for him. When the cellist brought the first concerto to the West for the first time, he premiered it on LP in a magnificent recording with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, beginning a great discography of Western recordings. On the same tour, English composer Benjamin Britten attended the London premiere of the concerto, initiating another great musical friendship with Rostropovich that led to Britten writing five masterpieces for the cello (three solo suites, a sonata, and the Cello Symphony), and a song cycle for Galina.

In 1969, Rostropovich protested official mistreatment of the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn in a letter that circulated in the West, embarrassing Soviet officials. Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya saw their scheduled concerts suddenly cancelled, and the soprano was expelled from the Bol'shoi roster. In 1974 the government granted their request to visit the West for two years, then exiled them by revoking their Soviet citizenship. Rostropovich became invisible at home, but a major star in the West. He bought the famous "Duport" Stradivarius. In September he made a London conducting debut with the New Philharmonic Orchestra and in March debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C. He was appointed its music director in 1977.

In 1990 Soviet President Gorbachev reversed the Rostropovich's expulsion, resulting in an emotional return documented in the film "Soldiers of Music." When Russian President Boris Yeltsin stood up to Soviet military power, Rostropovich rushed to stand beside him in the events that led to the collapse of Soviet power. He then stepped down from leadership of the Washington orchestra, but appeared as cellist and conductor around the world. He made his first recordings of Bach's six cello suites in 1991, the result of a lifetime of study. He was a major force in inspiring new cello works from the great composers of his time. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 187 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sviatoslav Richter - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings [51-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002236002 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mikhail Kopelman,  Valentin Berlinsky,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Kurt Sanderling,  Witold Rowicki,  János Ferencsik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moragues Woodwind Quintet members,  Borodin String Quartet,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $160.49
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  • 2.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
    CD: $111.99
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  • 3.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 2 (1969-1984)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633624 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
    CD: $64.49
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  • 4.
    Pierre Moneux a Amsterdam, 1960-1963
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 766 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Klaas Boon,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
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    CD: $29.99
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  • 5.
    Glazunov: Concertos For Violin, Cello & Saxophone
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2131 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Viktor Tretiakov,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lev Mikhailov
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Alexander Korneyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra Soloists Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 6.
    New Music Collections, Vol. 3: Orchestral
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 206 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Causton,  Dominic Muldowney,  Nicholas Maw,  Richard Ayres  ... 
    Performer:  Roy Carter,  Wim Timmermans,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Robin Michael
    Conductor:  Nicholas Collon,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Roland Kluttig  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Darius Milhaud - Une Vie Heureuse [10-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 634844 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Darius Milhaud
    Performer:  Michel Béroff,  Jean-Philippe Collard,  Noel Lee,  Christian Ivaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Georges Prêtre,  Georges Tzipine,  Darius Milhaud  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 8.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $342.99
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  • 9.
    Mstislav Rostropovich  - Three Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999802 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Luigi Boccherini,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Paul Sacher,  Herbert von Karajan,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Collegium Musicum,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 10.
    Carlo Maria Giulini: The Concerto Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31761 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg,  Manoug Parikian,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $35.49
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  • 11.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
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  • 12.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $230.49
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  • 13.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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    MP3:  $131.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 14.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    CD: $137.99
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  • 15.
    Britten The Performer - Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922102 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Thompson,  John Tobin,  Jenny Hill,  Robert Tear  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  Wandsworth School Choir  ... 
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    CD: $104.49
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    MP3:  $69.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 16.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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    CD: $99.99
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  • 17.
    Rostropovich Plays Shostakovich
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4101 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Alexander Gauk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $22.49
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto
    Label: Hi-q Records   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sviatoslav Richter,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    On sale! $52.98
    CD: $44.99
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  • 19.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22327 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Nikolai Walter,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Aleksander Dedjuchin
    Conductor:  Vaclav Talich
    On sale! $15.98
    CD: $13.99
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  • 20.
    Saint-saens: Piano Concerto No. 2; Cello Concerto No. 1; Violin Concerto No. 3; Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350077 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Isaac Stern,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Arthur Grumiaux
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Eugene Ormandy,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jean Fournet
    On sale! $26.98
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  • 21.
    Beethoven Masterworks Collection  [51-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001813172 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Janet Perry,  Agnes Baltsa,  Vinson Cole,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Carlos Kleiber,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $163.49
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  • 22.
    Dvorak: Cello Concerto, Piano Concerto  / Rostropovich, Maxian, Talich
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1368 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Frantisek Maxian
    Conductor:  Vaclav Talich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $9.99
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  • 23.
    Bach: Cello Suites
    Label: Membran / Documents   Catalog: 233503 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    CD: $16.99
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  • 24.
    Shostakovich Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9245 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Benjamin Fleischmann
    Performer:  Sergei Aleksashkin,  Vladimir Vaneev,  Alla Simoni,  Cristina Ortiz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai,  Paavo Berglund,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wdr Sinfonieorchester,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Rundfunkchor,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Choral Academy Moscow  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $128.99
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  • 25.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations; Gloriana Excerpts / Rostropovich, Pears, Britten
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5025 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Peter Pears
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Aldeburgh Festival Chorus
    DVD: $24.99
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