Books: Highs and Lows

GALINA by Galina Vishnevskaya Translated by Guy Daniels Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 519 pages; $19.95

For two decades, Galina Vishnevskaya reigned supreme at the Bolshoi Theater. No other soprano could match her sumptuous voice and dramatic presence or challenge her vibrant interpretations of Russian opera.

But that was before 1969, when she and her husband, Cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, offered sanctuary to the dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Many Soviet musicians joined in the official chorus denouncing Solzhenitsyn; the couple remained unyielding in his defense. As a result, Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich found that their concert and...

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