Oistrakh Plays Bach and Vivaldi

David Oistrakh has always been one of my great favorites. I do have to say that today more and more violinists enter that list with my great admiration.

Here is a recording that will illustrate what I mean:


David and Igor Oistrach – A Father And Son between Two Worlds

Bach, J S:

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV1043
David Oistrach (violin), with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Franz Konwitschny Conducting

Franck, C:

Violin Sonata in A major


Concerto, Op. 3 No. 8 ‘Con due Violini obligati’, RV 522, with David Oistrach (violin), and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Franz Konwitschny conducting.

The existing recordings of Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in A minor op. 3/8 and Bach’s Concerto for two violins in D minor BWV 1043 came into being in April 1957 at Leipzig’s Kongresshalle. Since their joint debut in 1947, the Bach Double Concerto was the central work in the joint repertoire of David and Igor Oistrakh, which they performed in numerous concerts before David’s death in 1974.

Dieter-Gerhardt Worm reminisces: “David Oistrakh was a very kind and approachable person. You can hear this in his recordings. His playing is so unbelievably accomplished yet nevertheless so humanly accessible. He was seized with the ambition to be at least as good as Menuhin, whose Bachian style he greatly admired. During the recording of the Bach Violin Sonatas in Dresden’s Lukaskirche, he constantly disappeared from the studio with his little tape recorder in order to listen to excerpts of Menuhin’s recording. And yet he had a much better technique, in fact the recordings with Oistrakh moved along very quickly.”

The recording of César Franck’s Violin Sonata with Igor Oistrakh is being released on CD for the first time.

Here are David Oistrakh and his son, Igor, performing the last two words movements of the Back Double Concerto for two violins:

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