Mstislav Rostropovich died this morning in the city he had always considered his home -- in Moscow, where he had been flown from Paris by private jet in February after it became apparent that he could not long survive.
"Music and art are a whole spiritual world in Russia," he once said. "In Russia, when people go to a concert, they don't go to it as an attraction, as an entertainment, but to feel life."
I don't currently own any of Rostropovich's recordings, but I owned several of him conducting various works back when my music collection was in its LP-and-cassette days. I also performed Leonard Bernstein's concert overture Slava! one year at music camp, a typically joyous and jazzy Bernstein piece along the lines of his far-more-famous overture to Candide.
For now, here's something eternal: Rostropovich performing the Prelude to Bach's Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello.
Bon voyage, Slava.