TRIUMPH AND SMILES
TESS CREBBIN was at the
Echo Classics Awards in Munich
The 2004 Echo Classical Awards was something of a special evening for cellists, amongst a glittering array of classical music stars. Everyone seemed to agree on one thing: that they were honoured to be in the presence of Mstislav Rostropovich, the celebrated Russian Cellist and humanitarian, who was personally acquainted with such great composers as Prokofiev and Shostakovich and who received the Ambassador of Music Award during the 24 October 2004 ceremony at the Gasteig in Munich, Germany. Standing ovations greeted him when he appeared on stage to accept his award, and those standing included the Archbishop, Cardinal Wetter. In thanking the academy for its award, Rostropovich said: 'Echo means reflection of a sound in piano but we need to raise our voices and keep reflecting in fortissimo for many years to come.' The man is courageous on a human level, utterly charming, and has revolutionised the world of cello music. So it is little wonder that everyone loves him and that he received the most hearty applause of the evening.
Mstislav Rostropovich with the Ambassador of Music Award at the 2004 Echo Awards Ceremony in Munich, Germany. Photo © 2004 Phil Crebbin
And while on the subject of cellists, the Chamber Music Award went to Boris Pergamenschikow and his ensemble (Vogt, Meyer, Tetzlaff) for the Brahms Duo Sonatas (3 CDs EMI 557 523-2). Pianist Lars Vogt and clarinettist Sabine Meyer had travelled to Munich to accept the award for what had been Pergamenschikow's final recording.
Lars Vogt and Sabine Meyer taking their Echo for Best Chamber Music, with Nina Ruge (far right). Photo: People Image © 2004 Tinnefeld
It was perhaps the most difficult award to announce for that evening, requiring a great deal of sensitivity. Ten points must go for this to the stunning German Television Host Nina Ruge who opened her presentation speech by pointing out that the beloved cellist's works live on and he is still an influential presence on the music scene. She concluded her heartfelt speech by saying about Pergamenschikow: 'He is missed a great deal by all of us present here.' Later, at the reception, Ruge, who is the intellectual among German Television presenters and holds a degree in biology, said credibly: 'This is not something I just said. I meant it. Being a great fan of classical music, Boris Pergamenschikow was one of my personal favorites and I was captivated by his music. I have seen him play in person many times and was always in awe of his enormous talent. To me, it was a great honor to be chosen to announce this award for him, of which he is so very much deserving.' The musical interlude that followed was a lovely performance by Vogt and Meyer playing Schumann (Three fantasy pieces for piano and clarinet). Nominated for the same award that went to Pergamenschikow and his team, incidentally, was also Misha Maisky (with Argerich, Kremer, Bashmet) for their CD of string quartets by Brahms and Schumann.
Copyright © 30 October 2004
Tess Crebbin, Germany