Monday, March 29, 2010

Mstislav Rostropovich

Today's video contains no video other than a photo of Mstislav Rostropovich but it contains important audio: Rostropovich playing Le grand tango accompanied by Igor Uriash on piano. Piazzolla, inspired by the cello playing of Rostropovich, composed Le grand tango in 1982, dedicated it to Rostropovich and mailed the score to him. According to the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, Rostropovich had never heard of Piazzolla and left the score in a drawer for years.

It was first heard, at least in North America, when Piazzolla encountered cellist Carter Brey at a Santa Fe music festival in 1987 and, impressed with Brey's playing, sent him a copy of Le grand tango. Brey recognized the importance of the work and performed it shortly after receiving it and later recorded it with pianist, Christopher O'Riley on the CD, Le Grand Tango: Music of Latin America, still my favorite interpretation of the piece.

Rostropovich did eventually discover the piece and in 1990 traveled to Buenos Aires to be coached by Piazzolla on it's playing. Rostropovich first performance of the piece was in New Orleans that same year with pianist Sara Wolfensohn and he recorded it only one - in November, 1996. That recording has never been sold separately. It has only been available as part of a large and relatively expensive boxed set of Rostropovich's work issued by EMI. Thus, prior to this YouTube video it is likely that this historic recording has been heard by dedicated Rostropovich fans but not by many Piazzolla fans.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

1 comment:

  1. wow! i've found it very long time.
    at least! i do listen to his playing!
    thanks a lot!!!, from Seoul