Mstislav Rostropovich – The musical conscience
This documentary portrays the exciting and eventful life of cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich. The film shows the famous musician in Moscow rehearsing Shostakovich’s 8th symphony in September 2006 for the 100th anniversary of the composer who was not a teacher, mentor and friend for Rostropovich.
Unknown material from Russian archives illustrates the most important stations in Rostropovich’s life and career: His childhood, his early success as a cello-soloist which made it possible for him to travel to Western countries, his debut as an opera conductor at the Bolshoi Theater, and the quarrels with the Soviet regime leading to his departure of Russia in 1974. Despite his homesickness and painful events like the withdrawal of his Russian citizenship in 1978, Rostropovich continued his career in the Western world, both as a cellist and a conductor.
The film also shows Rostropovich during a master class in Florence in 2006. He teaches young musicians to perform chamber music by Prokofiev and Shostakovich. These scenes reveal not only Rostropovich’s highly trained musicality but most of all his communication skills as well as his special and sensitive relation to music as a source of inexhaustible and indescribable energy. Furthermore, the film shows the Rostropovich Cello Contest in 2005 which is another proof of his passionate engagement for young talents of the cello. The viewer experiences the event through the eyes of first prize winning participant Marie-Elisabeth Hecker.
Besides Rostropovich himself the most important interview partners are composer Krzysztof Penderecki, cellist Natalia Gutman and violinist Maxim Vengerov whose lives and careers are inseparably connected to Rostropovich.
|Writer and Director||Enrique Sánchez Lansch|
|Director of Photography||René Dame, Sergei Onufriev|
|Sound||Andreas Preschner, Vladimir Archarov|
|Production Manager||Karl-Martin Lötsch|