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 51-75 of 97 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Leclair, Kodaly, Meyer: Violin Concertos / David Oistrakh
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184612 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ernst Hermann Meyer,  Zoltán Kodály,  Jean-Marie Leclair,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Naum Walter,  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 52.
    David Oistrakh - The Complete EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 14712 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Karen Khachaturian,  Eugčne Ysa˙e  ... 
    Performer:  Jacov Shapiro,  Joseph Stidel,  Joseph Gertovich,  Mikhail Terian  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolai Malko,  Aram Khachaturian,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Lovro von Matacic  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 53.
    Zigeunerweisen
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8579 Release Date: 05/06/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Henri Wieniawski,  Niccolň Paganini
    Performer:  Ion Voicu,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Heinz Bongartz,  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 54.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $194.99
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  • 55.
    Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas / Oistrakh, Bauer
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420777 Release Date: 03/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Eugčne Ysa˙e
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Frida Bauer
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  • 56.
    Brahms - The Concerto Album / Arrau, Oistrakh, Fournier
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 09421 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer,  Alceo Galliera,  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 57.
    David Oistrakh - Remembering A Musician
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 1130 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edouard Lalo,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    DVD: $18.99
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  • 58.
    Brahms: Violin Concerto, Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4 / Konwitschny, Oistrakh, Dresden Staatskapelle
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7005 Release Date: 01/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 59.
    Basics - Hungarian Classics - Brahms, Kodaly, Liszt, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 4907 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Zoltán Kodály,  Franz Liszt,  Jenö Hubay  ... 
    Performer:  Sylvia Geszty,  Hans Duncker,  David Oistrakh,  Naum Walter  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Carl von Garaguly,  Gerhart Wiesenhütter,  Egon Morbitzer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutschland Sender Orchestra Berlin  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 60.
    Portrait Of A Legend - Oistrakh
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 5003 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 61.
    Beautiful Baroque - Bach, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8598 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Igor Oistrakh,  David Oistrakh,  Johannes Walter,  Manfred Schumann  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny,  Friedmann Bätzel,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Zeljko Straka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber Orchestra
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  • 62.
    The Rostropovich Edition - Dvorak, Brahms, Haydn
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 65701 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ernest Bloch,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Ulrich Koch,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Best Beethoven 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97307 Release Date: 07/31/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eric Heidsieck,  Paul Tortelier,  Stephen Kovacevich,  Siegfried Rudolf Frese  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Riccardo Muti,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Nash Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 64.
    Ultimate Violin Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000895302 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci,  Henryk Szeryng,  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborin  ... 
    Conductor:  Piero Gamba,  Sir Alexander Gibson
    CD: $21.99
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  • 65.
    Shostakovich: Cello & Violin Concertos / Tortelier, Oistrakh
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 72493 Release Date: 02/06/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund,  Maxim Shostakovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Chausson: Symphony, Poeme;  Saint-saëns / Munch, Oistrakh
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60683 Release Date: 09/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Chausson,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 67.
    Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante / I. & D. Oistrakh, Kondrashin
    Label: Fim (1st Impression)   Catalog: 69 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Igor Oistrakh,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $38.98
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  • 68.
    Oistrakh & Richter - Live At Alice Tully Hall 1970
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4369 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 69.
    Last Recital With Paul Badura-Skoda
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 5050 Release Date: 11/12/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Paul Badura-Skoda
    CD: $29.99
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  • 70.
    Brahms, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos/ Oistrakh, Konwitschny
    Label: Ds Classics   Catalog: 503 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 71.
    Dvorak, Glazunov, Kabalevsky / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90665 Release Date: 05/31/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Alexander Glazunov,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Etc / Oistrakh, Golovanov, Moscow Rso
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 306 Release Date: 05/31/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tommaso Antonio Vitali,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Vladimir Knushevitsky,  Lev Oborin
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 73.
    Great Concertos - Great Artists Vol I - The Violin
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 219 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Ruggiero Ricci,  David Oistrakh,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Alexander Gauk,  William Steinberg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    Prokofiev: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / David Oistrakh
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 62889 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic,  Alceo Galliera
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Dvorak: Orchestral Masterpieces / Oistrakh, Rossi, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1273 Release Date: 03/09/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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