Thursday, March 27, 2008
In Search of Rostropovich
As hinted at before, I'm pulling together a Rostropovich tribute for WHRB's Spring Orgy period. It will be an in-depth survey of Rostropovich as a solo performer, chamber musician, conductor, and accompanist to his wife, Galina Vishnevskaya. I hope to do the concerti and sonati recordings as near-complete as possible, while limiting often-recorded pieces to only two or three instances. The Dvorak Concerto, recorded at least ten times, is played at most thrice, with Talich, Boult, and Giulini.
Anyway, eyeing the selection of concerti got me in a dreary state. There's no American music. Actually, there is one recording of Rostropovich debuting Bernard Rands' Cello Concerto with Ozawa and the BSO, which can't be played because I'm sure it's a never-released bootleg recording that the composer himself made a few copies of, one of which fell into my hands.
It has come to my attention, thanks to prodigious reading, that in 1967 Rostropovich premiered two works: Lukas Foss' Cello Concerto, and Walter Piston's Variations for Cello and orchestra; I'm certain the second was a Rostropovich commission, the first I'm not so sure about. Regardless, it was during the massive Rostropovich/Rozhdestvensky/London Symphony Orchestra series at Carnegie Hall, and (an unauthorized) recording was made, and released about 26 years later in 1993 on an Intaglio CD. Intaglio was responsible for something around a hundred bootleg or otherwise unauthorized releases, for more information you can read this very fascinating document from the London Symphony Orchestras' website:
So now we get down to the issue. I can't track down a copy of this CD, and I would very much love to have it for this tribute, not only for its rarity, but because it seems to somehow cut through the (wrong) idea that Rostropovich is somehow a strictly European figure. Anyway, before I go rambling on:
I need this CD. It's Intaglio INCD 7581: Bloch: Schelomo, Foss: Cello Concerto, Piston: Variations for Cello and Orchestra; Rostropovich, Rozhdestvensky, London Symphony Orchestra; Live Recording, Carnegie Hall, March 09, 1967. If you've got a copy, or know someone who might, I'd love to hear from you.
If you've just got questions about the Rostropovich Orgy, rare recordings you think I may have missed, you are most welcome to email or comment.