S0790. DAVID OISTRAKH, w.Vladimir Yampolsky; Abram Markov; Nikolai Rakov (Pfs.): Beethoven, Paganini, Rakov, de Sarasate, Prokofiev & Vladiguerov. (Canada) St Laurent Studio 33-1127, recorded 1945-52. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"As one listens to Rakov’s grandest chamber piece [above] one is impressed anew by how positive so much of Rakov’s music is. While he lived in a difficult environment and often depressing times, one will search in vain for works exhibiting the despair and angst so evident in the music of other Soviet composers of his time. Even when there are despairing movements within a Rakov work, they always end positively."
- Andrew Hartman, MusicWebInternational
"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