C1876. WILLIAM STEINBERG Cond. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Benvenuto Cellini - Overture (Berlioz); w.DAVID OISTRAKH: 'Turkish' Violin Concerto #5 in A, K.219 (Mozart); Violin Concerto in D (Brahms). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1094, Live Performance, 11 Jan., 1970, Symphony Hall, Boston. [Beautifully displaying the splendor of the Symphony Hall acoustic; the Brahms Concerto is truly outstanding!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"In 1960 Steinberg scored a great success guest-conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was the preferred choice of its board for their next music director, as Charles Munch was stepping down from the position. However RCA, the orchestra's record company, successfully pressured them to appoint Erich Leinsdorf, already on their roster of conductors. After Leinsdorf's tenure, one of mixed success ended, they did appoint Steinberg to the post, effective 1969."
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
"William Steinberg is one of those conductors highly respected by musicians and critics familiar with his work, but who never developed the kind of public acclaim accorded to some of his contemporaries. His relative neglect is partly due to Steinberg’s long association with the Pittsburgh Symphony, an orchestra whose reputation, while good, was not seen as front rank. Many collectors prized his recordings with Pittsburgh on the Command label (and his EMI discs too), but in those days there was more glamour associated with Charles Munch in Boston, George Szell in Cleveland, and Fritz Reiner in Chicago."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
“David Oistrakh is considered the premiere violinist of the mid-twentieth century Soviet Union. His recorded legacy includes nearly the entire standard violin repertory up to and including Prokofiev and Bartók. In 1937 the Soviet government sent him to Brussels to compete in the International Ysa˙e Competition, where he took home first prize. With his victory in Brussels, Soviet composers began to take notice of their young compatriot, enabling Oistrakh to work closely with Miaskovsky and Khachaturian on their concerti in 1939 and 1940, respectively. In addition, his close friendship with Shostakovich led the composer to write two concerti for the instrument (the first of which Oistrakh played at his, and its, triumphant American premiere in 1955). During the 1940s Oistrakh's active performing schedule took him across the Soviet Union but his international career had to wait until the 1950s when the political climate had cooled enough for Soviet artists to be welcomed in the capitals of the West.
Throughout his career David Oistrakh was known for his honest, warm personality; he developed close friendships with many of the leading musicians of the day. His violin technique was virtually flawless, though he never allowed purely physical matters to dominate his musical performances. He always demanded of himself (and his students) that musical proficiency, intelligence, and emotion be in balance, regardless of the particular style. Oistrakh felt that a violinist's essence was communicated through clever and subtle use of the bow, and not through overly expressive use of vibrato. To this end he developed a remarkably relaxed, flexible right arm technique, capable of producing the most delicate expressive nuances, but equally capable of generating great volume and projection.”
- Blair Johnston, allmusic.com