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 26-50 of 102 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Very Best Of David Oistrakh
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 678987 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Alexander Zaracycki  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborin,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  Vladimir Yampolsky  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Alceo Galliera,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
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  • 27.
    A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler / Ricci, Smith
    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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  • 28.
    Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Double Concertos / Ormandy, Brusilow, Oistrakh, Stern
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68961 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  David Oistrakh,  Anshel Brusilow
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Capriccio Italien, 1812 Overture / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, Reiner
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 24704 Release Date: 02/17/2011   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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Essential Beethoven
    Label: Warner 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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  • 34.
    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
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto / David Oistrakh, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4267 Release Date: 11/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Maxim Shostakovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Violin Concerto / Oistrakh, Kletzki
    Label: Medici Masters   Catalog: 18-2 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Stockholm Festival Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Best Encores 100
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 64752 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alexander Goedicke,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Teodor Grigoriu,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Ole Edvard Antonsen,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Placido Domingo,  Cheryl Studer  ... 
    Conductor:  John Barker,  Asher Fisch,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 41.
    Mozart, Shostakovich: Violin Concerti / Oistrakh, Mravinsky, Leningrad Po
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 736081 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 42.
    David Oistrakh In Recital
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4474 Release Date: 12/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Igor Oistrakh,  Leonid Kogan,  David Oistrakh,  Pavel Kogan  ... 
    Conductor:  Mikhail Terian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Conservatory Chamber Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 43.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No 2 / Oistrakh
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4473 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Franz Schubert,  Jean Sibelius,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Frida Bauer
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 44.
    Composers In Person
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17575 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ernö von Dohnányi,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Performer:  Béla Bartók,  Vilma Medgyaszay,  Ferenc Szekeres,  Zoltán Székely  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian,  Arthur Honegger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Percurama Percussion Ensemble
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    CD: $76.99
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  • 45.
    Mozart: Greatest Concertos
    Label: Art   Catalog: 42962 Release Date: 10/30/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Werner Tast,  Oskar Michallik,  David Oistrakh,  Annerose Schmidt
    CD: $8.99
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  • 46.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Walton,  Dennis Brain,  Lothar Koch,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 47.
    David Oistrakh - Artist Of The People?
    Label: Juxtapositions   Catalog: 3073178 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
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  • 48.
    Icon - Sviatoslav Richter - The Master Pianist
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17411 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Robert Schumann,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Oleg Kagan,  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Nikolaevsky,  Lorin Maazel,  Lovro von Matacic,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Conservatory Symphony Orchestra members,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $95.99
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  • 49.
    Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Brahms, Etc: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Hagen, Zukermann, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 8076 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Roland Greutter,  Thomas Zehetmair,  Antonio Meneses,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Günter Wand,  Kurt Sanderling,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $34.99
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  • 50.
    Mozart: Violin Concerto No 5; Brahms: Variations; Tchaikovsky: Moscow / Oistrakh, Yudina, Golovanov
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1000962 Release Date: 10/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Maria Yudina,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chorus,  Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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