When I started learning the cello, I fell in love with the instrument because it seemed like a voice - my voice.
It is my aim, my destination in life to make the cello as beloved an instrument as the violin and piano.
You must play for the love of music. Perfect technique is not as important as making music from the heart.
You know creators, composers, need a palette for life, a color for life.
The war years were the most difficult time of my life. There was real famine in Moscow. The water froze inside the houses. There was no heat.
Music is part of history, and our history has lessons that cannot be separated from our greatest music.
My mother carried me for 10 months. I asked her 'Mother, you had an extra month, why you didn't make me a beautiful face?' and mother told me, 'My son, I was busy making your beautiful hands and heart.'
All my life I wanted to play music with love to every member of the audience.
I came to Moscow when I was 5 years old from Baku. To walk all night in Moscow will bring back my youth to me.
Now I come to 75 years of age, I think what's most important in life is your conscience. If you told a lie and made other people suffer, I think that's very difficult when you reach this age.
Every man must have the right fearlessly to think independently and express his opinion about what he knows, what he has personally thought about and experienced, and not merely to express with slightly different variations the opinion which has been inculcated in him.
The cello is a hero because of its register - its tenor voice. It is a masculine instrument, whereas the violin is feminine because of its soprano pitch. When the cello enters in the Dvorak Concerto, it is like a great orator.
In 1948 the first severe crash occurred in my life when Stalin put out his decree on 'formalism.' There was a bulletin board in the Moscow Conservatory. They posted the decree, which said Shostakovich's compositions and Prokofiev's were no longer to be played.
Explain to me, please, why in our literature and art so often people absolutely incompetent in this field have the final word.
I never studied, but I had the best teachers.
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