David Oistrakh

The Very Best of David Oistrakh

There may well be some of you, my readers, who possibly have not heard the name, David Oistrakh. Back in the 1950’s and later, he was a very well-known and highly admired violinist. I am always amazed at the astounding tone that he derives out of his instrument. And his musicianship, phrasing, and expression were always flawless.

Born in the Ukraine in 1908, David Oistrakh received his musical training in his home town of Odessa. He made his first public appearance at a concert in 1914 and gave his own first recital in 1924. He died of a heart attack in Amsterdam in 1974.

The first CD in this collection opens with a complete performance of one of the great masterpieces of the violin repertoire, the Violin Concerto in D by Brahms, which Oistrakh performs with the famous Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell. This is followed by the slow movement from Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in which Oistrakh joins his two eminent Russian colleagues, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and the pianist Sviatoslav Richter, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan. The CD ends with Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.2, recorded in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Alceo Galliera in 1958.

The second CD opens with an example of Oistrakh as a performer of chamber music in the opening movement of Schubert’s Piano Trio No.1. Oistrakh is heard here with his pianist colleague, Lev Oborin, and the cellist Sviatoslav Knushevitsky, who all performed regularly together as a piano trio.

Next comes Tartini’s ‘Devil’s Trill’ Sonata with the pianist Vladimir Yampolsky, followed by a group of attractive short ‘encore’ pieces by Kodály, Wieniawski, Ysaÿe and others, mostly arranged for violin and piano from compositions from other genres including piano solos like Debussy’s ‘Clair de lune’ and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Valse-Scherzo’.

The second CD finishes with the lively second movement ‘Scherzo: Allegro’ from Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.2, written in 1967and dedicated to Oistrakh, and the finale ‘Tarantella: Presto’ from Taneyev’s colourful ‘Suite de Concert’.

Here is a video of David Oistrakh playing Shostakovich “Three Fantastic Dances”



And now listen to David Oistrakh in Aram khachaturian violin concerto


Tags: David Oistrakh, Beethoven, Brahms, chamber music

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *