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Prokofiev: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / David Oistrakh

Release Date: 09/07/2004 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 62889   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  David OistrakhVladimir Yampolsky
Conductor:  Lovro von MatacicAlceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraPhilharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Three Oistrakh Prokofiev recordings from the 1950s all in excellent fettle.

This version of the fairy-tale First Violin Concerto of Prokofiev is a considerable improvement on Oistrakh’s later Soviet one with Kondrashin and the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. There his tone and that of the orchestra is compromised by a tart and vinegary nasal quality. In this case the monophonic recording sounds very healthy despite the 52 intervening years. As for the performance of this glorious, gaudy, splendid and glimmering saga of a piece it is stunning. The LSO provide a backdrop full of intriguing character – and there’s a lot going on too. Oistrakh romps through the piece with marvellous silvery precision and exacting virtuosity.
Read more Matacic is a pliant and spontaneous-sounding partner – comparable with Pierre Monteux in his lightning-rod attention to detailing. He takes care of his soloist yet snatches opportunities to colour and pace amid Prokofiev’s brittle and crystal. Once again I note how the finale shows up Walton’s debt in his own Violin Concerto. This GROC resurrects a modern sounding recording to place alongside the Beecham-conducted Szigeti which you can hear on Naxos (see review). For a yet more modern sounding Prokofiev 1, I still recommend Sitkovetsky on Virgin.

There’s a change of orchestra and conductor for the stereo recording of the Second Concerto. This is a much more sober work yet with echoes of the Romeo and Juliet ballet music and serenely of Bach in the middle movement. The recording is stunning – listen to those cavernous pizzicati towards the end of the Andante assai not to mention the castanets in the finale.

The Violin Sonata No. 2 began life as a Flute Sonata which was transcribed by the composer at Oistrakh’s request. It was a product of the composer’s wartime retreat to Perm in the Urals. It’s a serene and untroubled work; not at all macabre or fantastic unlike the First Concerto.

The notes are by David Gutman and emphasise the story of the music rather than its recording history.

Precisely etched and joyously breathtaking Prokofiev playing.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International Read more: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Dec06/Prokofiev_Oistrakh_5628882.htm#ixzz2D660H2ip Read less

Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin no 1 in D major, Op. 19 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/1954 
Venue:  London, England 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
Concerto for Violin no 2 in G minor, Op. 63 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Paris, France 
Venue:  London, England 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording.
London, England (05/14/1958 - 05/19/1958) 
Sonata for Violin and Piano no 2 in D major, Op. 94bis by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Vladimir Yampolsky (Piano), David Oistrakh (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Venue:  Colonaille Hall, Brussels, Belgium 
Notes: Arranger: David Oistrakh.
Colonaille Hall, Brussels, Belgium (05/22/1955 - 05/25/1955) 

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