In March 2017, Warner Classics marks the 10th anniversary of Mstislav Rostropovich’s death and 90 years since his birth with the deluxe collectors’ box set Cellist of the Century, comprising 40 CDs, 3 DVDs and a 200-page hardback book.
The label was given unprecedented access to Rostropovich’s personal archive and worked closely with his daughters Elena and Olga. The range and variety of music in the box set is nothing short of extraordinary, embracing works by more than 60 composers, from iconic recordings to rarities. A number of the live performances originate from Russian tapes saved from destruction by resourceful Soviet archivists when Rostropovich was exiled from the USSR (1974-1990), and which came back to light in the late 1990s. Another highlight is the complete Bach Cello Suites, presented here in both audio and video versions. The collection also features an exclusive audio interview of Rostropovich recorded by personality Jon Tolansky.
Although Rostropovich died 10 years ago, on 27 April 2007, he remains a powerful presence on the world’s cultural scene through his legacy as the greatest cellist of his time, as a brave advocate of human rights, and as a man of proverbial generosity and charisma.
“When I started learning the cello,
I fell in love with the instrument
because it seemed like a voice. My voice."