David Oistrakh


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 112 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Classic Archive - Brahms: The Complete Chamber Music
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26401 Release Date: 11/18/2016  
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Elena Bashkirova,  Maxim Vengerov,  Boris Pergamenschikow,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna String Sextet,  Takács String Quartet,  Berlin Soloists  ... 
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  • 2.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
    On sale! $221.98
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  • 3.
    Sviatoslav Richter: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557828 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  David Oistrakh,  Oleg Kagan  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto,  Orchestre de Paris,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 4.
    Prokofiev: Violin Concertos Nos. 1, 2 & 5 Pieces from Cinderella / Oistrakh, Yampolsky
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1318 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Alceo Galliera
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 5.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $250.99
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  • 6.
    The Menuhin Century: The Historic Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555052 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerald Moore,  George Enescu,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Orchestre De La Société Des Concerts Du Conservatoire  ... 
    CD: $58.49
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  • 7.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $139.99
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  • 8.
    Strains of Caledonia / Oistrakh, Szell, Bernstein
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250328 Release Date: 03/04/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $23.99
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  • 9.
    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: $312.49
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    Tartini: Devil's Trill Sonata; Violin Concertos / David Oistrakh, Gordan Nikolitch
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1283 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Tartini
    Performer:  Lev Oborin,  David Oistrakh,  Gordan Nikolitch
    Conductor:  Arie Van Beek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auvergne Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 13.
    David Oistrakh, Vol. 1 [Vinyl]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0056 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    LP: $48.99
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  • 14.
    David Oistrakh, Vol. 2 (Limited Edition) [Vinyl]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0044 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    LP: $48.99
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  • 15.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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: $64.49
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  • 18.
    Piano Trio, Vol. 1 / Oistrakh Knushevitsky, Oborin [Vinyl]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0013 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Lev Oborin
    LP: $48.99
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  • 19.
    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  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 20.
    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: $174.49
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Violin Concerto No 3 / Oistrakh, Cluytens
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1329 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 23.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms: Concertos / Klemperer
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 43482 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Civil,  Annie Fischer,  Daniel Barenboim,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 24.
    Sviatoslav Richter -  The Enigma
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 27351 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hugo Wolf
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 25.
    Shostakovich: Concertos / Oistrakh, Rostropovich
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1385 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mason Jones,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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