S0521. DAVID OISTRAKH, w.Abendroth Cond.: Concerto in D; Romance #1 in G, Live Performance, 31 March, 1952; DAVID OISTRAKH, w.Lev Oborin (Pf.): Sonata #7 in c, Live Performance, 16 Oct., 1960, Berlin (all Beethoven). (Germany) Archipel 0537. - 4035122405378
“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
"...[Abendroth] was a bright star in the constellation of German musicians. His recordings are less rare than little known, especially in the West. Though most are late, they are all in the old manner and warrant attention from anyone with an interest in musical traditions."
- David Radcliffe, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Jan./Feb., 1996
"Perhaps not a household name except to followers of exceptional, tradition-oriented conductors, Hermann Abendroth was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1883, the year of Wagner 's death, and he studied in Munich, where one of his teachers was Felix Mottl, the legendary conductor and former pupil of Anton Bruckner. His artistic life centered around Cologne and Leipzig. After being conductor of the Cologne Gurzenich Orchestra from 1915 to 1934, he spent eleven years as conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He also directed the Cologne Conservatory and had a hand in forming the College of Music. His conducting was marked by his unpretentious objectivity, and this attitude corresponded with the way he pursued his career - straightforwardly and always thinking far ahead. He was an artist with roots to his home and his institution. Just months after World War II he was appointed musical director in Weimar, where he felt at home up to the time of his death in 1956. In 1949 he had also assumed the direction of the Leipzig Radio Symphony, and four years later of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. What all of his interpretations share is the sense of architecture and dramatic structure which always places the parts of a movement in the larger context. For Hermann Abendroth, interpreting meant performing a work to the best of one's knowledge, not distorting it whatever the cost with a reading of one's own."
- Zillah D. Akron