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Friday, May 18, 2007

SHORT TAKES

Elegy of Life: Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya


Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
Language: Russian

Elegy of Life: Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya
Legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich in "Elegy of Life: Rostropovich, Vishnevskaya"

The legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich died last month at the age of 80. In the 1970s Rostropovich harbored dissident novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn, for which he and his wife, the acclaimed soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, were stripped of their Soviet citizenship in 1978. Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov ("The Sun"), the documentary "Elegy of Life" looks into the lives of the maestro and Vishnevskaya. The two talk about their music and past, and the camera captures Rostropovich rehearsing with the Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Seiji Ozawa. But the most striking scenes are the ones that focus on Vishnevskaya's face — her sorrow and turbulent history lie within her dark, beautiful eyes.



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