See, all those who have had the privilege of meeting him, even for a brief encounter, or who simply wanted to shook the great maestro's hand -- and would have settled for a simple nod of the great man's head in their general direction -- and got a bear hug or even a triple kiss, Russian-style, instead, they all agree that Rostropovich was, really, a helluva guy. Quick to laughter, with a optimistic streak and a strong -- if very personal -- faith in humanity.
So it's OK to be sad for his passing, but sadness can obscure the greatness of his lesson, at least for a day -- his lesson of humanity, and his love for life.
The National Symphony Orchestra, may Terpsichore bless them, has sent out thru AP this 1927 family photo of Baby Mstislav resting in his dad's cello case, dreaming of all the great music waiting to be played -- no, to be imagined -- in the following 80 years.
Just wait until I'm tall enough to be able to sit, and my hands are big enough to handle a bow.