Hailed as the finest cellist in the world, the ebullient "Slava" Rostropovich (1927-2007) was an unabashed romantic who seemed to pour his Russian soul into every phrase, bowing long, songful lines with a subtle eloquence and purity of tone. Many works were written for him by some of the 20th century's leading composers. In addition to playing the cello, he was also a pianist and a conductor. Joseph Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 2 with Rostropovich and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields was recorded in November 1975 at Henry Wood Hall, London.