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Soldiers of Music: Rostropovich Returns to Russia
Albert Maysles Film-maker
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It's a story of Rostropovich- Mstislav Rostropovich, the great cellist, who is thrown out of Russia because of his friendship with Solzhenitsyn and 17 or 18 years later, when things have changed in the Soviet Union, he was invited back, invited back with the New York Philharmonic and my brother and I accompanied him- accompanied him to Moscow and then to Leningrad. With him was his wife and his daughter who later became a cellist herself. So it was a family reunion with their friends as well as the performance. So there was very little then, and certainly now, of Russians at home with their friends and so this- that's a beautiful element in the film. And with all that wonderful music and the stories that they told of the old days- There's a beautiful scene where they revisit their dacha which the local people, at their own expense, kept, kept in shape so that if he were ever to return, he could go back. Well, there's a get-together of three or four of those people with Rostropovich. And that little conversation that they had was really- pulls you in with, with average Russians the way you would never get by watching a normal news event or newspaper in America.

Albert Maysles (1926-2015) known for his important documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, pioneered the documentary style known as Direct Cinema. He helped create techniques still widely used in modern documentary production, as well as many of the techniques used in reality TV.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz Rebekah Maysles Sara Maysles

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

Rebekah Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is an artist living between New York and Philadelphia. She has her own line of clothing, Blackberryrose, and co-runs the store Sodafine in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York, a vintage and handmade store that sells clothing, books and other products made by artists.

Sara Maysles, daughter of Albert Maysles, is currently doing her BA in East Asian Studies at Columbia University, and working as an Archivist of the photographs and photographic material at Maysles Films Inc., Albert‚s film production company. She spent ten months out of two years working with Tibetan refugees at a center in Nepal, and continues to travel back and forth between America and Asia.

Tags: Russia, Soviet Union, New York Philharmonic, Moscow, Leningrad, USA, Mstislav Rostropovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, David Maysles

Duration: 2 minutes, 7 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2004

Date story went live: 29 September 2010