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 Ysaÿe 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 26-50 of 149 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Very Best Of Herbert Von Karajan
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6789922 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Gidon Kremer,  James Galway  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 27.
    Chamber Music / Paul Badura-Skoda and Friends
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 11200 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Antonio Janigro,  Jean Fournier,  Boris Pergamenschikow  ... 
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  • 28.
    A Tribute To Fritz Kreisler
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001637702 Release Date: 01/17/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci,  Brooks Smith,  Fritz Kreisler,  Haddon Squire  ... 
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  • 29.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 476 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ernest Chausson
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Fritz Rieger,  Franz Konwitschny,  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 30.
    The Russian Archives - David Oistrakh Plays Russian Violin Concertos
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9239 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Taneyev,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Karl Eliasberg,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    The Best Of Beethoven: Ode To Joy
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82152 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Moura Lympany,  Walter Gieseking,  Claudio Arrau,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London
    CD: $7.99
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  • 32.
    The Very Best Of Mstislav Rostropovich
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94775 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  David Oistrakh,  Alexander Dedyukhin,  Ulrich Koch  ... 
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  George Szell,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
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  • 33.
    Kodaly: Hary Janos; Dances Of Galanta; Dances Of Marosszek; Missa Brevis; Solo Cello Sonata
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94678 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Zoltán Kodály
    Performer:  Stephen Layton,  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Paul Tortelier
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Walter Susskind,  Stephen Cleobury,  Ilona Andor
    CD: $12.99
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  • 34.
    Violin Concertos - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94096 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolò Paganini,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Alexandre Dubach,  Ilya Grubert,  Borika Van Den Booren  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Michel Sasson,  Lawrence Foster,  Igor Golovschin  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 35.
    50 Best Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48465 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Claude Debussy,  Hector Berlioz,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leif Ove Andsnes,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Herbert von Karajan,  Rudolf Kempe,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
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  • 36.
    50 Best Violin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48494 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Luigi Boccherini,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Nathan Milstein,  Leon Pommers,  Gidon Kremer  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Herbert von Karajan,  Efrem Kurtz,  Pierre Dervaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
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  • 37.
    Bach, Mozart, Brahms: Violin Concertos / David Oistrakh
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5012 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Capriccio Italien, 1812 Overture / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, Reiner
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 24704 Release Date: 02/18/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  USSR Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Essential Violin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07154 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jules Massenet,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Gidon Kremer,  Leonid Kogan  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Efrem Kurtz,  Herbert von Karajan,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Virtuosi Italiani
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  • 40.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 107 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Lev Oborin,  Vladimir Yampolsky
    Conductor:  Sixten Ehrling,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
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  • 41.
    111 More Classic Tracks [6-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001483202 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Maurice André,  Stefan Askenase,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Karel Ancerl,  Hans Stadlmair,  John Nelson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 42.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto; Dvorak: Violin Concerto
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1349 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    CD: $9.99
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  • 43.
    Khachaturian: Piano Concerto; Violin Concerto
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27890 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  Mindru Katz,  Cristina Ortiz,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Alfred Newman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 44.
    The Art Of Violin
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4639 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ernest Chausson,  Franz Schubert (Dresden),  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Nathan Milstein,  Christian Ferras,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Aram Khachaturian
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    DVD: $26.99
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  • 45.
    Essential Beethoven
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95445 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  James Morris,  Jeremy Menuhin,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Siegfried Rudolf Frese  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Kurt Sanderling,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 46.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms: Concertos, Romance / David Oistrakh
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4015 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Antonio Pedrotti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 47.
    Best Violin 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58521 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Vittorio Monti,  Fritz Kreisler,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  John Lenehan,  Leon Pommers,  Nathan Milstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Alceo Galliera,  Iain Sutherland,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Virtuosi,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 48.
    Shostakovich: Symphony No 15, Violin Concerto No 2 / Oistrakh
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 49.
    Beethoven: Spring & Kreutzer Sonatas / Oistrakh, Oborin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412255 Release Date: 12/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lev Oborin,  David Oistrakh
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  • 50.
    State Of The Art - The Story Of Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341102 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Rafal Blechacz,  Kathleen Battle,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Andalucian Dogs
    CD: $107.49
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