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Slava, Dead at 80

Mstislav Rostropovich died this morning in Moscow.  He was 80 and suffered from intestinal cancer.  Tim Page has an appreciation here.

Updates:  Alex Ross, Charles T. Downey, Guardian Tributes, Marc Geelhoed, Bruce Hodges, Pliable, Kenneth Woods, Steve Hicken, Jessica DuchenScott Spiegelberg, Jeremy Eichler


Comment from David Salvage
Time: April 27, 2007, 2:37 pm

He commissioned a concerto from Bernard Rands. Anyone else know any Slava commissions?

Comment from zeno
Time: April 27, 2007, 3:03 pm

how about much of the significant later twentieth century repertoire for violoncello and orchestra/chamber ensemble, and solo violoncello; as well as a few dozen major orchestral works by Russian, European, American, and Japanese composers– largely unplayed in the U.S. over the past generation — and which I foresee withstanding the test of time.

Comment from Alex Ross
Time: April 27, 2007, 3:16 pm

Shostakovich, Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
Britten, the three great suites for cello, Cello Sonata, Symphony for Cello and Orchestra
Prokofiev, Sinfonia concertante (which he helped to write)
Lutoslawski Cello Concerto
Pärt, Pro et contra
Schnittke, Cello Concerto No. 2
Dutilleux, Tout un monde lointain
Messiaen, Concert à quartre
William Walton, Passacaglia
Panufnik, Cello Concerto
Nordheim, Tenebrae (I saw this in DC in 1982)
Augusta Read Thomas, Chanson
Bernard Rands, Cello Concerto No. 1

and more than 200 other pieces.

Comment from David Polk
Time: April 27, 2007, 5:08 pm

For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2007

98.7WFMT Pays Tribute to Cellist, Conductor Mstislav Rostropovich

Listener Memories, Recordings and Rare Interviews Pre-empt Regular Music Schedule

Chicago, IL — 98.7WFMT, Chicago’s Classical Experience, is paying tribute to Russian musician and human rights activist Mstislav Rostropovich who died this morning in Moscow. Today, Friday April 27, and tomorrow morning, Saturday April 28, the station is airing recordings from its archives of Rostropovich cello performances and conducting various orchestras around the world. In addition, the station is airing voicemails and reading emails from listeners recounting memories of the world-renowned musician, who visited Chicago many times during his lifetime. Rare interviews have also been posted on

The special tribute pre-empts previously scheduled musical programming.

“Today represents a major loss for the classical music world” said WFMT Program Director Peter Whorf, “and it’s only appropriate that we use our archives to pay tribute.” On his blog, Whorf posted a rare audio clip of composer Dmitri Shostakovich speaking of his friend Rostropovich as well as a recent interview producer Jon Tolansky conducted with him in 2002.

One Internet listener remarked via email that “the great significance of Mstislav Rostropovich to the music world and the world in general is tremendous. As you played his recording of what he played at the [collapse of the] Berlin Wall, I was deeply touched. Your efforts all morning to honor this great person is just one more reason what we love your station.

“Thanks so much for all you do daily to enrich our lives.”

More information about 98.7WFMT and 98.7WFMT Streaming is available at .

About 98.7WFMT
98.7WFMT, Chicago’s Classical Experience, provides the best and broadest selection of classical music and fine arts programming heard in the country. A broadcasting force for more than 55 years, the station’s appeal continues to widen. 98.7WFMT is currently serving the largest audience in its history.
Holly H. Gilson
98.7WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network
(773) 509-5424

Comment from zeno
Time: April 27, 2007, 5:22 pm

also Penderecki’s The Polish Requiem (and the first of Penderecki’s cello concertos?); Dutilleux’s Timbres, Espace, Mouvement; Lutoslawski’s Novelette; Schnittke’s Symphony No. 6 (and #7 for the NY Phil?), Bernstein’s Slava — a Political Overture [?], Stephen Albert’s riverrun (a Pulitzer Prize winner); Artyomov’s Symphonies On the Threshold of Bright World and Gentle Emanations, Gagneux’s Cello Concerto …. Gubaidulina’s Canticle of the Sun (I assume) …

There was also a Sir William Walton orchestral work entitled something like Passacaglia and Riffs, from about 1978 …

Also, many many Soviet era concertos for cello, several of which I once listened to and consider worthy of reconsideration …

Someone please correct me if I have misremembered anything here …

Comment from Peter Mueller
Time: April 27, 2007, 5:47 pm

When he was conductor of the National Symphony I believe he was responsible for several works, such as Druckman’s oratorio Vox Humana.

Comment from Sparky P.
Time: April 27, 2007, 7:09 pm

(and the first of Penderecki’s cello concertos?) Actually it was the second of Penderecki’s vc concerti (the first one, originally conceived for ‘viola pomposa’, later rescored for standard ‘cello (and not widely played) was written for Siegfried Palm), and also the short, “Per Slava”. Slava singlehandedly doubled, tripled (hell, homered – he hit for the cycle!) the ‘cello repertoire. Not Casals, not Feuermann, not Fournier (Siegfried Palm and Yo-Yo Ma come in a distant second) for bringing new material into the canon.

Comment from Mark Babbitt
Time: April 29, 2007, 9:18 pm

More Slava Premieres:
Boulez: Messagesquisse
Tischtschenko: Concerto No.1 (1963)
Lutoslawski: Novelette
Augusta Read Thomas: Galaxy Dances
Schnittke: Cello Sonata No.2
Henze: Trauer-Ode