Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya: Russia, Music, and Liberty

Front Cover
Amadeus Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 223 pages
This book is a vivid portrait of two musicians whose lives have been both fairy-tale love story and front-page history: the shared saga of the foremost cellist of his generation and his country's reigning diva. Together they suffered exile from their beloved Russia for their outspoken advocacy of freedom but returned in triumph after the dissolution of the repressive regime that had stripped them of their citizenship. As both artist and rebel, Rostropovich has come to be known as a "Solzhenitsyn with cello case and baton, " and his recent distinguished presence in Washington, D.C., as conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra is another important chapter in music history. In these conversations with French journalist and critic Claude Samuel, Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya tell their dramatic story from their marriage in 1955 (four days after meeting!) onward. Musical matters - Bach and Beethoven, to be sure, but also the great Russian masters - are the focus of their thoughts, but their turbulent political battles coupled with a deep love for their homeland are pervasive themes as well. Although these conversations, translated here for the first time, took place in 1983, Claude Samuel has added a new preface that recounts the couple's achievements in succeeding years. Their tale culminates in their emotional return to Russia after sixteen years in exile, with Rostropovich leading the National Symphony in Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony, the last work he conducted before his enforced departure.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya: Russia, music, and liberty

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The dynamic personalities of Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya bring these conversations strikingly to life, even in translation 12 years after their original publication in French. Married only four days ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

One of France's most eminent critics and musicologists.

Bibliographic information