Anyone listening to this admirable set will gain an accurate impression of David Oistrakh’s overall playing style, his poise, composure, interpretative finesse, velvety tone and highly sophisticated musicianship. Various of the works programmed are - or have been - available in alternative Oistrakh recordings (the Tchaikovsky and Brahms concertos in around six versions apiece), but Melodiya’s selections are, in general, judiciously chosen.
The air on Mt. Olympus must have been something like that in Berlin’s Jesus-Christus-Kirche when, in September 1969, the threesome of Richter, Oistrakh and Rostropovich joined Herbert von Karajan for this majestic recording of Beethoven’s underrated Triple Concerto. That there could have been such a meeting of the minds in this gathering of greats is difficult to believe, until one remembers that the three soloists were frequent collaborators who all spoke the same musical language, and after years in the trenches knew each other and their conductor very well. As one would expect, the solo work of the three Russians is brilliant and deeply musical. But just as delightful is the way they adjust from solo to ensemble roles and play together, with perfect unanimity, in the duet and trio passages. Karajan and the Berliners provide a monumental accompaniment, weighty, powerful, and rich in tone. The recording, one of the best from EMI in this venue, has been remastered in exemplary fashion and is impressively detailed and vivid.
David Oistrakh is considered the premiere violinist of mid-20th century Soviet Union. His recorded legacy includes nearly the entire standard violin repertory up to and including Prokofiev and Bartók. Oistrakh's violin studies began in 1913 with famed teacher Pyotr Stolyarsky. Later he officially joined Stolyarsky's class at the Odessa Conservatory, graduating in 1926 by playing Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto.
There are plenty of available versions of the Mozart Violin Concertos, but few that can match the recordings David Oistrakh made in Berlin back in 1971. His big, juicy tone is irresistible, as is his flowing legato line and the intensity with which he elevates what sometimes (in unsympathetic performances) can seem like mere juvenilia. The first two of Mozart’s concertos for solo violin do display less variety and depth than the later ones, but the 19-year-old was a fast learner, writing all five of them within eight months in 1775.
To celebrate the legendary David Oistrakh, one of the greatest violinists ever, Deutsche Grammophon presents a box set which brings together for the first time all his recordings for DG, Decca, Philips & Westminster/Melodiya. This limited-edition, original jackets 22-CD box features legendary recordings as a testimony of the very pinnacle of violin playing - among them Bach Sonatas which are released on CD for the very first time, plus three additional recordings never before released on DG.
While only the faithful are likely to try this 17-disc set of violinist David Oistrakh's complete recordings for EMI, they will no doubt fall all over themselves in their rush to get it. How could they not? It contains all the recordings the great Soviet violinist made for EMI: his 1958 and 1969 recordings of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, his 1954 and 1958 recordings of the same composer's violin concerto, his 1956 and 1969 recordings of Brahms' Double Concerto, his 1960 and 1969 recordings of the same composer's violin concerto plus recordings of concertos and sonatas by composers running the gamut from Mozart to Shostakovich.
David Oistrakh collaborated with major orchestras and musicians from many parts of the world, including the Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States, and was the dedicatee of numerous violin works, including both of Dmitri Shostakovich's violin concerti, and the violin concerto by Aram Khachaturian. He is considered one of the preeminent violinists of the 20th century.
With the return of these stereo recordings by David Oistrakh and Lev Oborin (made in Paris in 1962), many collectors will find an automatic first choice. This new Philips set presents these accounts in fine digital transfers and has the benefit of having all 10 sonatas placed sequentially across four CDs. The performances are exceptionally fine, sometimes not as dramatic as Schneiderhan's (DG), it's true, but always intensely musical and natural.