WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Mendelssohn, Dvorak / Oistrahk, Kondrashin, Et Al


Release Date: 10/30/2007 
Label:  Urania   Catalog #: 333   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Felix MendelssohnAntonín Dvorák
Performer:  David Oistrakh
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Special Order: If we cannot ship this title in 45 days, your order will be cancelled and you will be notified via email.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto. DVO?ÁK Violin Concerto David Oistrakh (vn); Kiril Kondrashin, cond; U.S.S.R. St SO URANIA 333, mono (59:21)


David Oistrakh, the centennial of whose birth in 1908 we’ve just celebrated, recorded Mendelssohn’s Concerto only twice (both in monaural sound), a surprise considering the size of his discography and the importance of the work. In 1949, he played with Kondrashin and the U.S.S.R. State Orchestra; in 1955, Read more during his visit to the United States, Ormandy conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra, a performance that Columbia paired with Mozart’s Fourth Concerto (for which I’ve found the more specific date of December 14, 1955). Oistrakh, in his early forties, played the Concerto’s first movement with insouciant Romantic flexibility of tempo, slowing down before the beginning of the cadenza (as he would in his recording with Ormandy six years later) and even more noticeably during the recapitulation (although he indulges in sudden—surprising if not quite startling—changes of tempo, and dynamics). Those who decry Heifetz’s tightly wound performances of the Concerto might treasure Oistrakh’s more leisurely approach for the near-antithesis it represents; and those who dismiss Elman as wayward should hear Oistrakh in this Concerto. The slow movement is steadier and more straightforward, without sentiment. The finale sounds assured if not elfin, with moments of grand rhetorical flourish and an exciting peroration. Urania’s restoration of Melodiya’s recorded sound, though not beset with extraneous noise, represents the orchestra almost two-dimensionally and hardly reflects the warmth of Oistrakh’s rich, buttery tone.


Oistrakh’s only studio recording of Dvo?ák’s Concerto also comes from 1949. The work itself seems particularly well suited to his warm Slavic temperament; and though Milstein’s two aristocratic performances in the studio may enjoy critical acclaim, Oistrakh’s will seem to many to have more immediate appeal, though every bit as authoritative. Milstein’s tone sounds just as nuanced, and he’s perhaps even more subtle overall, but Oistrakh’s slightly more straightforward and robust way with the first movement, his glowing sinuousness in the second (the work’s center of gravity in more ways than one), and his sprightliness in the finale more than hold their own. Once again, the engineers (or the poor state of the transferred recording) make the orchestra sound somewhat tinny, although they captured a greater share of Oistrakh’s tonal glory.


For those who consider recorded sound a top priority, Urania’s reissue of Oistrakh’s performances, even with his supposed favorite conductor, will hardly seem satisfactory. In fact, its deficiencies and inconsistencies should deter all but hard-core Oistrakh aficionados. But such a recording deserves mention this year, if only for its marriage of repertoire and violinist. Still, even die-hard Oistrakh fans should think twice and look elsewhere, since other remastering of these recorded performances have been available (BMG, for example, released Dvo?ák’s Concerto in its 1997 “David Oistrakh Edition,” 7431 34179, with the surprising designation “stereo,” in a superior, comparatively realistic transfer, though it’s obviously of the same recorded performance, with the deficiencies of the original burning through; Archipel released the performance in similarly superior sound ARPCD 0204; Classica d’Oro released the Mendelssohn Concerto on CDO 2015, again in better recorded sound, 27:6). If no better issues can easily be obtained, then, this one may suffice temporarily for some. Recommended, though with very strong caveats, but definitely recommended for its significant, and perhaps signature, performances.


FANFARE: Robert Maxham
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1949 
Venue:  Moscow, USSR 
2.
Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 53 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879-1880; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 1949 
Venue:  Moscow, USSR 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In