S0735. DAVID OISTRAKH, w. Krips Cond. Philharmonia Orch.: Violin Concerto in D (Brahms), Live Performance, 31 May, 1962, Musikverein, Vienna; DAVID OISTRAKH & IGOR OISTRAKH, w. Sargent Cond. London Phil.: Violin Concerto for Two Violins in d (Vivaldi); Amitié for Two Violins (Ysaÿe), Live Performance, 26 Feb., 1961, Royal Albert Hall, London. [The lesser-known Ysaÿe reverie is lushly post-romantic, more specifically post-Chausson 'Poème de l'amour et de la mer' - and is exquisitely beautiful - alone worth the price of this CD!] (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-760. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"David Oistrakh is considered the premiere violinist of the mid-twentieth century from the Soviet Union. His recorded legacy includes nearly the entire standard violin repertory up to and including Prokofiev and Bartok. In 1937 the Soviet government sent him to Brussels to compete in the International Ysaye 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
“Igor Oistrakh, a noted violinist who was part of a violin-playing family that included his father, David, one of the 20th century’s finest exponents of the instrument, was well known in New York and elsewhere in the West since the Soviet Union sent its best musicians on tour. He made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall in February 1962 performing with Symphony of the Air under Alfred Wallenstein….by December 1963, Mr. Oistrakh had performed several more times in New York and had established himself as an admirable musician independent of his father.
‘Little can be said about the 32-year-old Soviet musician’s superb artistry that has not already been said again and again’, Howard Klein wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES in a review of a Carnegie Hall recital that month. ‘His beautiful, silky tone, his effortless execution in devilish passages, his restrained yet powerful emotional thrust, were in evidence and were as stunningly projected as ever’.
Father and son frequently played together. When David Oistrakh made his American debut as a conductor, leading the Moscow Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in 1965, Igor was the soloist for the Tchaikovsky violin concerto. ‘David Oistrakh conducted like a proud father’, Theodore Strongin wrote in THE TIMES, ‘giving his son all the leeway in the world and pacing the last movement up into a mad virtuoso fling. The sold-out audience loved it’.
Mr. Oistrakh studied at the Central Music School and then at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 1949 he won top prize at an international youth violin competition in Budapest, and in 1952 he won the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poland. He made his Western debut at Royal Albert Hall in London in 1953 and continued to perform all over the world in the Cold War era. International tensions occasionally intruded on his concerts, as they did in 1971 when, THE TIMES wrote, a performance at Philharmonic Hall in Manhattan ‘was interrupted after the first piece by an unscheduled intermission during which security forces searched the hall for harassment devices that might have been planted by the groups that have been protesting the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union’.”
In 1996 Oistrakh accepted the post of professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. In the new century Oistrakh has remained active as a performer, often appearing with his wife, as well as his son, Valeri, who is also a talented violinist. At his death, he lived in Moscow."
- Neil Genzlinger, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 7 Sept., 2021