Cellist of the Century (40CD+3DVD)

Warner Classics
Current Stock:
Mstislav Rostropovich

Although Mstislav Rostropovich died 10 years ago, on April 27th 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, often known simply by his nickname, Slava. He would have celebrated his 90th birthday in 2017.

The phenomenal richness of his life and art is expressed in this magnificent 43-disc set released by Warner Classics: Mstislav Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century. It forms the centrepiece of the label’s Rostropovich programme for 2017, which also includes: eight releases of individual CDs taken from the set and a double LP of the Dvořák Cello Concerto and Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 1 (Giulini/London Philharmonic Orchestra).

Mstislav Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century has been curated by Warner Classics in close collaboration with Rostropovich’s daughters Elena and Olga Rostropovich, whose mother was the celebrated soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, Rostropovich’s wife from 1955 until his death. The label was given unprecedented access to Rostropovich’s personal archive; as a result, many rare photos and documents – including a letter of support for dissident Soviet writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn – enrich the 200-page hardback book that forms part of the box set. It also includes a comprehensive chronology and fascinating articles by Elizabeth Wilson, one of Rostropovich’s students, and by Claude Samuel, a former head of Radio France and a close friend of Rostropovich.

The set, conceived as a deluxe edition, comprises 40 CDs and 3 DVDs and contains an even balance of studio and live recordings. The range and variety of music it offers is nothing short of extraordinary, embracing works by more than 60 composers. For solo cello, cello and piano, cello and chamber group, and cello and orchestra, they extend from the Baroque to the latter part of the 20th century and from essential repertoire to rarities. They also reflect both Rostropovich’s mastery of the traditional cello repertoire and his commitment to new music: the dedicatee of over 120 new works, he numbered such composers as Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Britten among his close friends. A number of the live performances featured 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. In many senses these represent the culmination of Rostropovich’s recording career; he waited until 1991 to set them down the studio. The box also contains a substantial and previously unpublished audio interview, dating from 2006, in which Rostropovich discusses Shostakovich with the journalist Jon Tolansky.

40 CD + 3 DVD deluxe 2 piece box
Cloth-bound box with embossed silver foil title and image 
40 CDs & 3 DVDs in cardboard wallets
200-page hardback book – Text in English/German/French

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Camille Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1
Nikolai Myaskovsky Cello Concerto
Philharmonia Orchestra / Malcolm Sargent
Recorded 1956

Antonín Dvorák

Cello Concerto
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Adrian Boult
Recorded 1957

Sergei Prokofiev Sinfonia concertante
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Malcolm Sargent
Sergei Rachmaninov Vocalise
Alexander Dedyukhin
Recorded 1957

Cello and Piano Recital
Alexander Dedyukhin
Johannes Brahms Cello Sonata No.2
Popper • Debussy • Scriabin
Recorded 1957

Ludwig van Beethoven Triple Concerto
David Oistrakh • Sviatoslav Richter
Berliner Philharmoniker / Herbert von Karajan
Recorded 1969 

Johannes Brahms Double Concerto
David Oistrakh
Cleveland Orchestra / George Szell
Recorded 1969

Henri Dutilleux 
Tout un monde lointain …
Orchestre de Paris / Serge Baudo
Witold Lutoslawski Cello Concerto
Orchestre de Paris / Witold Lutoslawski
Recorded 1974

André Jolivet Cello Concerto No.2
Orchestre national de l’ORTF / André Jolivet
Recorded 1969

Cello and Piano Recital
Vasso Devetzi
Richard Strauss Cello Sonata
Ludwig van Beethoven Variations, Op.66 & WoO 45
Recorded 1974

Richard Strauss Don Quixote
Ulrich Koch
Berliner Philharmoniker / Herbert von Karajan
Recorded 1975

Joseph Haydn Cello Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Academy of St Martin in the Fields / Iona Brown
Recorded 1975

Robert Schumann Cello Concerto
Ernest Bloch Schelomo
Orchestre national de France / Leonard Bernstein
Recorded 1976

Antonín Dvorák
 Cello Concerto
Camille Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Carlo Maria Giulini
Recorded 1977

Johannes Brahms
 Double Concerto
Itzhak Perlman
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Bernard Haitink
Recorded 1979

Marcel Landowski 
Un enfant appelle • La Prison
Galina Vishnevskaya • Pierre Dux
Orchestre national de France / Marcel Landowski
Orchestre national de Lille / Marcel Landowski
Recorded 1982/1983

Antonín Dvorák
 Cello Concerto
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations
Boston Symphony Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa
Recorded 1985

Krzysztof Pendereck
i Cello Concerto No.2
Philharmonia Orchestra / Krzysztof Penderecki
Recorded 1986

Cristóbal Halffter Cello Concerto No.2
“No queda más que el silencio”
Orchestre national de France / Cristóbal Halffter
Recorded 1985

Sergei Prokofiev 
Sinfonia concertante
Dmitri Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1
London Symphony Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa
Recorded 1987

Darius Milhaud
 Cello Concerto No.1
Arthur Honegger Cello Concerto
Alun Hoddinott Noctis Equi
London Symphony Orchestra / Kent Nagano
Recorded 1989

Norbert Moret Cello Concerto
Collegium Musicum de Zurich / Paul Sacher
Recorded 1989

CD 19–20
Johann Sebastian Bach 
Cello Suites
Recorded 1991

Baroque Cello Concertos
Vivaldi • Tartini • C.P.E. Bach
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra / Hugh Wolff
Recorded 1992

Cello and Organ Recital
Herbert Tachezi
Frescobaldi • Marcello • J.S. Bach • Handel

Caix d’Hervelois • Rheinberger • Saint-Saëns
Recorded 1993

Renaud Gagneux
Rodion Shchedrin Sotto voce
London Symphony Orchestra / Seiji Ozawa
Recorded 1994

Alfred Schnittke

Concerto for Three • String Trio • Minuet
Gidon Kremer • Yuri Bashmet
Moscow Soloists
Recorded 1995

Alexander Knaifel
 Make me drunk with your kisses
Choral Arts Society of Washington
Washington National Cathedral Choristers
National Cathedral School Lower School Chorus / Norman Scribner
Recorded 1995

David Matthews Romanza
English Chamber Orchestra / Raymond Leppard
Recorded 1990

Sofia Gubaidulina
 The Canticle of the Sun
London Voices
London Symphony Orchestra / Ryusuke Numajiri
Recorded 1999

Dmitri Shostakovich 7 Romances on Verses by Blok
Galina Vishnevskaya • Ulf Hoelscher • Vasso Devetzi
Recorded 1974

Robert Schumann
 Cello Concerto • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations
USSR State Symphony Orchestra / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Recorded 1960
Ludwig van Beethoven Triple Concerto: I. Allegro, with David Oistrakh • Sviatoslav Richter
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra / Kirill Kondrashin 
Recorded 1970

Heitor Villa-Lobos
 Prelúdio (Modinha), with Cello Ensemble / Mstislav Rostropovich
Recorded 1962
Arthur Honegger Cello Concerto • Ottorino Respighi Adagio con variazioni
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra / Kirill Kondrashin
Richard Strauss Don Quixote, with Lazar Dvoskin • USSR State Symphony Orchestra / Victor Dubrovsky
Recorded 1964

Nikolai Myaskovsky
 Cello Concerto
Alexander Glazunov Concerto ballata
USSR State Symphony Orchestra / Evgeny Svetlanov
Sergei Taneyev Canzona, with Alexander Dedyukhin
Recorded 1964

Sergei Prokofiev

Cello Sonata, with Sviatoslav Richter
Recorded 1950
Sinfonia Concertante, with USSR State Symphony Orchestra / Israel Gusman
Cello Concertino, with Moscow Radio & Television Orchestra / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Recorded 1964

Dmitri Shostakovich

Cello Concerto No.1, with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Recorded 1961
Cello Concerto No.2, with USSR State Symphony Orchestra / Evgeny Svetlanov
Recorded 1966

Benjamin Britten

Cello Suites Nos. 1 & 2
Recorded 1966 (No.1) /1968 (No.2)
Cello Symphony, with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra / Benjamin Britten
Recorded 1964

Boris Tchaikovsky

Cello Suite
Recorded 1961
Cello Concerto, with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra / Kirill Kondrashin
Recorded 1966
Partita, with A. Mamyko • Y. Godin • B. Tchaikovsky • A. Dedyukhin • I. Khovov
Recorded 1967 

Aram Khachaturian Concerto–Rhapsody, with Ana Amintayeva
Recorded 1964
Boris Tishchenko Cello Concerto No.1, with A. Tishchenko • Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra / Igor Blazhkov
Recorded 1966
Yuzo Toyama Cello Concerto, with Moscow Radio & Television Orchestra / Yuzo Toyama
Recorded 1967


Lev Knipper Concerto–Monologue • Mieczyslaw Weinberg Cello Concerto
USSR State Symphony Orchestra / Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Recorded 1964
Fernando Lopes-Graça Concerto da camera
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra / Kirill Kondrashin
Recorded 1967

Cello Sonatas with the composers in person
Dmitry Kabalevsky Cello Sonata
Recorded 1962
Karen Khachaturian Cello Sonata
Recorded 1967
Dmitri Shostakovich Cello Sonata (date unknown)

Recital of Short Pieces & Transcriptions
Debussy • Dvorák • Falla • Fauré • Handel • Milhaud • Popper • Prokofiev
Schubert • Scriabin • Shaporin • Sinding • R. Strauss • Stravinsky
Alexander Dedyukhin • Vladimir Yampolsky • Alexei Zybtsev • Ana Amintayeva

Recorded 1960 / date unknown

Nikolai Myaskovsky
 Cello Sonata
Recorded 1967
Frédéric Chopin Cello Sonata • Introduction and Polonaise brillante (date unknown)
Yuri Shaporin Pieces, Op.25 (date unknown)
Alexander Dedyukhin

Astor Piazzolla 
Le Grand Tango
Galina Ustvolskaya Grand Duet
Alfred Schnittke Cello Sonata No.2 • Epilogue to the ballet Peer Gynt
Igor Uriash • Alexei Lubimov
Recorded 1996

Mstislav Rostropovich on
Dmitri Shostakovich
The Last Audio Interview
Recorded 2006

Antonín Dvorák Cello Concerto
Camille Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Carlo Maria Giulini
Filmed 1977

Johann Sebastian Bach 
Cello Suites
Filmed 1991