Violinist David Oistrakh.

David Oistrakh.

I found out recently that 33 RPM vinyl format recordings for classical music are not dead!

At Naxos of America I was able to get a recording of David Oistrakh, performing the Johannes Brahms Violin concerto Op. 77, on 33 RPM vinyl, made by Melodya. (See photo, left column)

This recording was made in 1952. Oistrakh was born on September 30th, 1908 and he died on October 24, 1974. As such, the violinist was 44 years old at the time that this recording was made. And as I listened last night, I heard Mr. Oistrakh at the height of his instrumental capabilities.

His technique was outstanding, of course, as was his timing. The violin sound was lush and warm.

The accompanying orchestra was the Moscow Radio Symphony, conducted by Kiril Kondrashin. I was quite disappointed with the quality of playing by these musicians. The horns were mediocre. The entrances by some of the winds were poor. Just enough to make the whole thing a negative experience, other than Mr. Oistrakh, himself, who was –of course — a legendary violinist in his time.

Here is a better version of what I heard yesterday:

David Oistrakh performs the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, Op.77:


And here is a later recording with the same orchestra, as we hear Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77 (2nd movement), as performed by the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, directed by Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Recorded in Moscow, February, 1966:



Tags: David Oistrakh, Brahms, violin concerto