Sunday, April 16, 2006

Must read NYtimes article on Rostropovich

A very moving article; I especially like the following quotes in the article;
"He was the most important man in my life, after my father," Mr. Rostropovich said. "Sometimes when I'm conducting, I see his face coming to me. Sometimes it's not really a happy face — I conduct maybe a bit too slow, so I conduct faster, and the face disappears."

"When he played the concerto for me in St. Petersburg, I was so impressed," Mr. Rostropovich said, "and he told me: 'Slava, do you really like this composition, or not so much like it? Because if you tell me you like, then I dedicate to you this composition.' I was in so deep shock.

"After that I so loved him, I learned it by memory in four days. I then came with my pianist to Shostakovich and said, 'I would like to play your concerto for you.' He tells me, 'Slava, one second, I give you some music stands.' I tell him, 'Not needed, my friend.' It was the most fantastic moment in my life."

"Extremes are absolutely needed for Shostakovich," Mr. Rostropovich said. "He once told me something that I tell to all orchestras when I am rehearsing. 'Slava,' he said, 'if I want to insult some musician, I tell him, "You are not a real musician, you are just a mezzo-fortiste." ' "

I love that!

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