David Oistrakh

Biography

Born: September 30, 1908; Russia   Died: October 24, 1974; Netherlands  
David Oistrakh is considered the premiere violinist of the mid-twentieth century Soviet Union. His recorded legacy includes nearly the entire standard violin repertory up to and including Prokofiev and Bartók. Oistrakh's violin studies began in 1913 with the famed teacher Pyotr Stolyarsky. Later he officially joined Stolyarsky's class at the Odessa Conservatory, graduating in 1926 by playing Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto. Performances of the Read more Glazunov Concerto in Odessa and Kiev in 1927, and a 1928 debut in Leningrad (Tchaikovsky Concerto) gave Oistrakh the confidence to move to Moscow. He made his premiere there in early 1929, but the event went largely unnoticed. In 1934, however, after several years of patiently refining his craft, Oistrakh was invited to join the Moscow Conservatory, eventually rising to the rank of full professor in 1939.

Meanwhile, Oistrakh was gaining success on the competition circuit, winning the All-Ukrainian contest in 1930, and the All-Soviet competition three years later. In 1935 he took second prize at the Wieniawski competition. In 1937 the Soviet government sent the now veteran violinist to Brussels to compete in the International Ysa˙e 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 concertos in 1939 and 1940, respectively. In addition, his close friendship with Shostakovich led the composer to write two concertos 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.

The remaining decades of Oistrakh's life were devoted to maintaining the highest possible standards of excellence throughout an exhausting touring schedule (he returned to the U.S. six times in the 1960s), and he began a small but successful sideline career as an orchestral conductor. His death came suddenly in Amsterdam in 1974, during a cycle of Brahms concerts in which he both played and conducted. Oistrakh's unexpected death left a void in the Soviet musical world which was never really filled.

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.

As a teacher, David Oistrakh maintained that a teacher should do no more than necessary to help guide the student towards his or her own solutions to technical and interpretive difficulties. He rarely played during lessons, fearing that he might distract the student from developing a more individual approach, and even encouraged his students to challenge his interpretations. Perhaps the best evidence of the Oistrakh's gift for teaching is that he felt that he gained as much from the teaching experience as his students did. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 119 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    David Oistrakh Plays Beethoven, Sviatoslav Richter, Frida Bauer
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250322 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Frida Bauer,  Svjatoslav Richter
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  • 2.
    David Oistrakh Plays Johannes Brahms, Sviatoslav Richter, Freda Bauer
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250321 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Svjatoslav Richter,  Frida Bauer
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  • 3.
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Jean Sibelius
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250325 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
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  • 4.
    David Oistrakh in Prague, 1966-72
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250320 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Leos Janácek,  Eugčne Ysa˙e,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Frida Bauer,  David Oistrakh
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  • 5.
    Sviatoslav Richter: 100th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002270 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Nina Dorliac,  Oleg Kagan,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Yuri Nikolaevsky,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre String Quartet,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Conservatory Chamber Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $636.99
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  • 6.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 7.
    Jean Martinon: The Late Years - Erato and HMV Recordings, 1968-1975
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552547 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Albert Roussel,  Aram Khachaturian,  Gabriel Pierné,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Lily Laskine,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Robert Veyron-Lacroix  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
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  • 8.
    Brahms, Dvorák: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Kondrashin
    Label: Vanguard Classics   Catalog: 1024 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Glazunov, Kabalevsky: Concertos;  Gliere / Oistrakh, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard Classics   Catalog: 1025 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Reinhold Gliere,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Imperial Oistrakh!
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564614443 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Max Bruch,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborine,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Lovro von Matacic,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 11.
    Tartini: Devil's Trill Sonata; Violin Concertos / David Oistrakh
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1283 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Tartini
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Gordan Nikolic
    Conductor:  Arie Van Beek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auvergne Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto; Violin Concerto
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350082 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Lev Oborin,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Cluytens
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  • 13.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 14.
    Tchaikovsky, Glazunov: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, USSR Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2261 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Bach: Werke fur Cembalo / Hans Pischner
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300570 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Hans Pischner,  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Max Michailow  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Helmut Koch,  Kurt Redel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle
    CD: $34.99
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  • 16.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 2 (1969-1984)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633624 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
    CD: $69.99
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  • 17.
    Schubert, Brahms: Duets For Violin And Piano
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2147 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Frida Bauer,  David Oistrakh
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  • 18.
    Bach: Concertos
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002127 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai
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  • 19.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0011 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Shostakovich: The Great Symphonies
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 6004 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Konstantin Ivanov,  Yevgeny Mravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  West German Radio Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 22.
    Oistrakh Collection, Vol. 14
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 8020 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Tor Aulin  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Torleif Lonnerholm,  Frans Helmerson,  Tore Rönnebäck  ... 
    Conductor:  Stig Westerberg,  David Oistrakh
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  • 23.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 24.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto
    Label: Hi-q Records   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sviatoslav Richter,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 25.
    David Oistrakh [5-CD Set]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001931 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Viotti,  César Franck,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Taneyev  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Nicolai Malko,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Alexander Gauk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $72.99
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