Monday, August 04, 2008

Rostropovich on Solzhenitsyn


'In October 1970 Rostropovich had written an open letter to the newspapers in defence of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who had been attacked in the Moscow press after being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Rostopovich's letter called for free speech, referred to the 'claptrap' which had been written about Prokofiev and Shostakovich when they were out of official favour, and objected to the 'absoloutely incompetent' government officials who were always meddling in the arts. Soon after the letter was sent - it was never published - the authorities began to harass Rostropovich, cancelling his foreign trips and Moscow engagements and restricting him to touring the provinces. He was told he would be restored to favour if he signed a letter against Andrei Sakharov, but he refused - 'Just what kind of person do you think Rostropovich is?'' - from Benjamin Britten, A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter. In memory of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, born 11 Dec. 1918, died Aug. 3, 2008.

Shostakovich we'll allow, but take Stravinsky out here, and my tribute to the incomparable Rostropovich here.
There is a wonderful photo of Slava and Solzhenitsyn here, but for copyright reasons I haven't used it. The image I have used is from MajorityRights.com. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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