Friday, April 27, 2007

Mstislav Rostropovich RIP

The Mstislav Rostropovich obit in the New York Times is a colourless affair. The Guardian obit much more reflects a giant of a man who lived life with gusto and had such an appetite for life.

In the mid-199os, Mister Bijou had the rare good fortune to meet Slava, albeit briefly, backstage at Hong Kong's Cultural Centre after a mesmerising solo performance.

As Slava started performing in public at the age of eight, he must have shaken hands with thousands of people. And yet again here he was graciously shaking hands.

A man still revved up after the show he had just given, being nice to people he'd never met before and would never meet again. A great bear of a man with thick, muscular, sausage-like fingers.

And when he was introduced to Mister Bijou's then partner, who is a cellist as well as an attractive woman, Slava's smile grew even broader, mischievous even, before he remarked, almost conspiratorially: "Ah, another cellist."

NYT obit
Guardian obit
Rostropovich -- reached out for the music: On An Overgrown Path
Prelude from J S Bach's Cello Suite No. 1: youtube

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