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Bach, Brahms, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / David Oistrakh


Release Date: 01/23/1996 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 447427   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachLudwig van BeethovenJohannes BrahmsPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  David OistrakhIgor Oistrakh
Conductor:  David OistrakhSir Eugene GoossensFranz Konwitschny
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony OrchestraRoyal Philharmonic OrchestraDresden Staatskapelle
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo/Mono 
Length: 2 Hours 22 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

(David Oistrakh) seems to be more relaxed, more freely expressive, moving easily from dashing bravura to the sweetest lyricism in the first movement of the Brahms, and entering in the slow movement at a faster pace than his conductor, clearly determined to expunge the suspicion of stodginess.

Though the arrival of LP brought an explosion in recording activity, the period before stereo emerged has become something of an interregnum, too often ignored by the big companies in their reissue policy. It is good here to welcome the mono recordings of the Brahms and Tchaikovsky concertos which David Oistrakh made in February 1954, more volatile readings than those he recorded later, respectively with Klemperer for EMI in the
Read more Brahms (3/93) and with Ormandy for CBS in the Tchaikovsky (11/89). Here, working with Konwitschny and the Dresden orchestra, he seems to be more relaxed, more freely expressive, moving easily from dashing bravura to the sweetest lyricism in the first movement of the Brahms, and entering in the slow movement at a faster pace than his conductor, clearly determined to expunge the suspicion of stodginess in the opening tutti. In the finale of the Brahms there is barely any difference in the speed of the opening between Konwitschny or Klemperer, but with Konwitschny Oistrakh feels free to press ahead, where with Klemperer it tends to be the opposite, so that the overall timing for the movement is some 35 seconds longer. In the Tchaikovsky Ormandy is also a more solid interpreter than Konwitschny, and though in the first movement that encourages Oistrakh into deliberate expressive dalliances, generally he is more freely expressive with Konwitschny, and more spontaneous sounding.

Though his partners were the same in the DG recordings of both concertos, the venues were different, with some unwanted edge on the violin sound in the Berlin-made Brahms, where with East German engineers in the Dresden-made Tchaikovsky the solo violin is warmer, even if the orchestral sound is duller. In both the violin is balanced close. Both performances are welcome additions to the recorded oeuvre on CD of the supreme Soviet violin master.

The Bach and Beethoven offerings are hardly less welcome. The Bach Double Concerto, with Oistrakh father and son accompanied by Goossens and the RPO, first appeared in a coupling with the Beethoven Romances as well as the Vivaldi Concerto, Op. 3 No. 8, also for two solo violins. I am sorry that no room was found for that as well in this compilation, but it was obviously more important to have the two solo Bach concertos in the package, which within a few months of the original issue was the alternative coupling for the Double Concerto. There, with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Oistrakh himself directs from the solo violin, but tuttis tend to be rather solid rhythmically until his solo entries, which seem to lighten the playing of everyone. None the less, allowing for the performance practice of the time these are strong, warm performances which bring out both the sweetness and purity of Oistrakh's playing, not least in the rapt accounts of the slow movements. The first of the two Beethoven Romances brings wonderfully clean and true double-stopping at the start, and few performances of either work have matched these for ease and warmth.

- Gramophone, [June 1995, Page 67]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  David Oistrakh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1962 
Venue:  Mozartsaal, Konzerthaus, Vienna 
Length: 15 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in E major, BWV 1042 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  David Oistrakh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/1962 
Venue:  Mozartsaal, Konzerthaus, Vienna 
Length: 18 Minutes 29 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Igor Oistrakh (Violin), David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1961 
Venue:  Wembley Town Hall, London 
Length: 17 Minutes 9 Secs. 
4.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 1 in G major, Op. 40 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1802; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1961 
Venue:  Wembley Town Hall, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 23 Secs. 
5.
Romance for Violin and Orchestra no 2 in F major, Op. 50 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: ?1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1961 
Venue:  Wembley Town Hall, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 47 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 77 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1954 
Venue:  Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 39 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a monophonic recording. 
7.
Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  David Oistrakh (Violin)
Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; Russia 
Date of Recording: 02/1954 
Venue:  Dresden, Germany 
Length: 35 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a monophonic recording. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, BWV 1041: 1. (Allegro moderato)
Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, BWV 1041: 2. Andante
Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, BWV 1041: 3. Allegro assai
Violin Concerto No.2 in E, BWV 1042: 1. Allegro
Violin Concerto No.2 in E, BWV 1042: 2. Adagio
Violin Concerto No.2 in E, BWV 1042: 3. Allegro assai
Concerto For 2 Violins, Strings, And Continuo In D Minor, BWV 1043: 1. Vivace
Concerto For 2 Violins, Strings, And Continuo In D Minor, BWV 1043: 2. Largo ma non tanto
Concerto For 2 Violins, Strings, And Continuo In D Minor, BWV 1043: 3. Allegro
Violin Romance No.1 in G major, Op.40
Violin Romance No.2 in F major, Op.50
Violin Concerto in D, Op.77: 1. Allegro non troppo
Violin Concerto in D, Op.77: 2. Adagio
Violin Concerto in D, Op.77: 3. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace - Poco più presto
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35: 1. Allegro moderato
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35: 2. Canzonetta (Andante)
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35: 3. Finale (Allegro vivacissimo)

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