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 26-50 of 120 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    Beethoven, Godard, Chausson, Saint-Saens, Ravel / Oistrakh
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002032 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Chausson,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    CD: $18.99
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  • 32.
    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
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  • 33.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms: Concertos / Klemperer [6-CD Set]
    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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  • 34.
    Shostakovich Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9245 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Benjamin Fleischmann
    Performer:  Sergei Aleksashkin,  Vladimir Vaneev,  Alla Simoni,  Cristina Ortiz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai,  Paavo Berglund,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wdr Sinfonieorchester,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Rundfunkchor,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Choral Academy Moscow  ... 
    CD: $128.99
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  • 35.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Rococo Variations
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002013 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    CD: $18.99
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  • 36.
    Shostakovich: Three Concertos
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350059 Release Date: 09/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Mason [French Horn] Jones,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Bernstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 37.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10132 Release Date: 05/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jascha Heifetz,  Rudolf Serkin,  Rita Streich  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alfred Scholz,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 38.
    Beethoven: Piano Trio Op. 1 No 3, Triple Concerto / Oborin, Oistrakh, Knushevitsky
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001937 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lev Oborin,  Svyatoslav Knushevitsky,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
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  • 39.
    Beethoven: Triple Concerto / Karajan
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 6787052 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $15.99
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  • 40.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 41.
    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:  Jean Fournier,  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Antonio Janigro,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 42.
    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  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 43.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 44.
    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,  Leon Pommers,  Nathan Milstein,  Gidon Kremer  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Herbert von Karajan,  Efrem Kurtz,  Pierre Dervaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
    CD: $13.99
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  • 45.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 46.
    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
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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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