S0799. DAVID OISTRAKH, w.Topilin, Giakov, Makarov, Yampolsky (Pfs.): Glinka, Hubay, Scriabin, Daquin, Chopin, Kreisler & Paganini; w.Gauk Cond. USSR S.O.: Violin Concerto in d (Myaskovsky) [Performed by the dedicatée who played the premiere in Moscow on 10 Jan., 1939]. (Canada) St Laurent Studio 78-1126, recorded 1937-49. [A treasurable recital!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"As for the 'lack of great tunes' criticism, Myaskovsky’s three-movement Violin Concerto clearly puts that premise to rest. The abundance of memorable themes in this rapturous work is astounding, and the music flows beautifully throughout. Composed between March and June 1938, Myaskovsky dedicated the work to David Oistrakh who performed the premiere in Moscow on 10 January 1939. Being Myaskovsky’s first concerto, the results are all the more remarkable."
- Don Satz, musicweb-international
“The Myaskovsky concerto was premièred in 1938 by David Oistrakh. In spite of its late composition date, this is largely ‘Old School’ Romanticism, not far removed from the works of Glazunov and Glière. There is hardly a trace of Socialist Realism in this concerto, which seems blithely unconcerned about the world around it. The first movement often doesn't even sound particularly Russian. This movement, marked Allegro ed appassionato, accounts for more than half of the concerto's 38-minute length. There is a longish cadenza that is well-integrated into the movement's thematic structure. The middle movement is an uncomplicated and songful Adagio molto cantabile, and finale, Allegro molto, is similarly primary - albeit attractive - within its emotional palette.”
- Raymond Tuttle, ClassicalNet
"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