Schubert / Rachmaninov / Dvorak / Chopin
Khaikin / Ussr rso / Rostropowitsch
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There is no end to the superlatives which can be used to pay tribute to the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who died in 2007; he is considered one of the most remarkable cello players of all time and is the only cellist who can be mentioned in the same breath as the great Pablo Casals. His playing technique was brilliant, his sound full of sweet urgency and the intelligence and creativity of his interpretations inspired contemporary composers to write works for him. In addition to his committed speaking out for democracy and an individual's right to liberty, musician, conductor and humanist Rostropovich also supported and encouraged young musicians - he set up his Rostropovich Cello Foundation in Kronberg to help young cellists. He was awarded prizes all over the world and received numerous honours and awards, both in his capacity as an artist and as a political person. In Germany he was awarded the "Große Bundesverdienstkreuz mit Stern" (Federal Great Cross of Merit with Star, the country's highest possible award for a non-German) for his tireless campaigning for democracy and human rights - and for helping overcome the differences between the East and the West. These recordings were made in 1956 and 1957, just as Rostropovich started taking international concert stages by storm.