Certain chapters are not available. Thank you for your understanding. These recordings represent an overview of some of the headiest years of Mstislav Rostropovich's career, during which he made his name in the West. He was exiled from his homeland for his support of dissident artists, poets and musicians, and, in doing so, established himself as a Major international force for good, musical and otherwise.
The recordings also offer some unusual glimpses of Britten himself. Through his friend and teacher Dmitri Shostakovich, he was introduced to Benjamin Britten. Britten was inspired by him to compose his Cello Symphonypremiered in Moscow in Marchand to follow it with the three Cello Suites — arguably the most important body of solo cello music since Bach.
Much of this is reflected in this programme, in particular Rostropovich's association with Benjamin Britten, and through him, his involvement in the Aldeburgh Festival. Fromhe resigned his studentship at the Moscow Conservatoire in disgust at the Stalinist regime's treatment of his composition teacher, Shostakovich. Rostropovich continued to make political statements that Minha - Cartola - Cartola felt had to be made.
And he did so through his music. The intensity of the performance, in an atmosphere of political tension, was something those present will never forget. It was not long after meeting Britten that Rostropovich became a regular performer at the Aldeburgh Festival. He took part in the first televised concert from the Snape Maltings Concert Hall, part of which is included here.
This is a particularly poignant film, since it is virtually the only record we have of the Maltings as it was before it was destroyed by fire in and rebuilt in time for the Festival. Tchaikovsky wrote the Variations on a Rococo Theme for Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, a fellow professor at the Moscow Conservatoire, who gave the premiere in Moscow in November Tchaikovsky allowed Lord Franklin - Pentangle - Cruel Sister to make radical alterations in the piece, and it was only in that his original intentions were rediscovered.
However, Rostroprovich said he did not think he should discard the Fitzenhagen arrangement, since it had Tchaikovsky's approval at the time, otherwise he would not have let it be published.
Rostropovich's Aldeburgh performance displays him at the peak of his powers and is a wonderful example of his partnership with Britten, of whom this is rare conducting footage. Supported by him, the theme seems to expand under Rostropovich's bow, the music, as it were, being composed on the spot. The slow variation is suspended daringly, with moments of heart-stopping intensity, and the Allegro Ben Moderato - Schubert* / Bridge* - Mstislav Rostropovich fast sections in the coda are astonishingly dexterous, the tone and intonation never faltering even at the highest pitches.
The subject of Fitzenhagen's radical alterations came up again ten years after the premiere of Allegro Ben Moderato - Schubert* / Bridge* - Mstislav Rostropovich Variations when Anatoly Brandukov, one of Fitzenhagen's students for whom Tchaikovsky wrote the Pezzo capricciosoasked whether he would restore them to his original idea. Tchaikovsky is supposed to have replied: "Oh, the hell with it! Let it stay the way it is. A smaller-scale work than the Variationsit is nevertheless interpreted by Rostropovich with all his poetry and intensity, making it seem much more substantial.
The excerpts from Britten's opera Gloriana Gloriana was the contemporary poetic name for Elizabeth I included as the second part of this programme are a highly significant addition to the composer's discography.
The opera was based on the book Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey, and composed for the Coronation of It was premiered in June at Covent Garden under John Pritchard, to the general bafflement of the glittering audience. After touring in the opera virtually disappeared from view, apart from occasional concert hearings of the Courtly Dances from Act II. It began to be heard more after Britten's revision of Poltergeist - Disco Ensemble - Magic Recoveries This performance, marking the re-opening of the Snape Maltings in Junetook place in the presence of HM the Queen, but Gloriana had to wait until for a complete, though semi-staged, performance at Aldeburgh, almost the fiftieth anniversary of its premiere.
While Britten conducted recordings of most of his operas on disc, Gloriana was not one of them, so that this is the only hint we have of his approach to Benjamin Britten - Sonate Pour A of the score. If Britten was a highly respected conductor of other composers' music, his directing of his own is on a wholly different plane. His gestures are more free, his energy level higher.
The well-chosen sections, forming an unusual concert suite, comprise the tournament from Act I, the Lute Song, also from Act I, and music culled from Act III as a kind of flashback including references to the chorus of homage, and the lute song, as the elderly Queen reviews her life. The tournament between the rivals for the Queen's favour, Essex and Lord Mountjoy, is an energetic soundscape of syncopated fanfares, much scurrying by the strings, and complex choral exclamations.
This performance is a momentous occasion. The role of Essex was created for Britten's lifetime partner and inspiration, Peter Pears. He reprises it here in the presence of the Queen, to whom it is dedicated, and who was supposed originally not to have been over-enthused by the work but surely would have been consulted about the programming of this concert.
In the Benjamin Britten - Sonate Pour A it is sung to her great Tudor predecessor, and in this concert in her presence, it is sung, it might seem, with profound intensity of feeling, as much to Her Majesty as to Britten himself. Party Train - Various - Hyperboum 2 out medici.
Want to watch more? About These recordings represent an overview of some of the headiest years of Mstislav Rostropovich's career, during which he made his name in the West. Chris de Souza. Licensed courtesy of Benjamin Britten - Sonate Pour A Worldwide. Available version s : EN.
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