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 76-100 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Karajan Collection - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 4, Triple Concerto / Weissenberg, Richter, Rostropovich, Oistrakh
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 4768862 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 77.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrakh Vol 12 - Piano Trios
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7820 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Bedrich Smetana,  Arno Babadjanyan
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Knushevitzky,  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborin,  Arno Babadjanyan
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  • 78.
    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
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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    The Devil's Trill - Showpieces / Oistrakh, Yampolsky
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 62915 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Tartini,  Claude Debussy,  Manuel de Falla,  Eugčne Ysa˙e  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Yampolsky,  David Oistrakh
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  • 81.
    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
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  • 82.
    Legendary Treasures - Oistrakh Collection Vol 11 - Beethoven
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7807 Release Date: 11/04/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lev Oborin,  David Oistrakh
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  • 83.
    The Violin Of David Oistrakh - Stradivari
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 389 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  George Enescu,  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Mariana Sirbu,  Mihail Sarbu,  Enrica Cavallo,  Franco Gulli  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Nussio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
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  • 84.
    Beethoven/Brahams/Schubert
    Label: Angel Records   Catalog: 69367 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Zoltán Kodály,  Josef Suk,  Henri Wieniawski,  Eugčne Ysa˙e  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Anton Ginzburg,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
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  • 85.
    Great Violinists - Bell Telephone Hour 1959-1964
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4215 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Ruggiero Ricci,  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh  ... 
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  • 86.
    Mozart: Sinfonia Concertate; Bruch: Scottish Fantasy / Oistrakh
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470258 Release Date: 12/17/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Max Bruch,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Paul Hindemith,  Jascha Horenstein,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrach Collection Vol 10
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7800 Release Date: 11/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  David Oistrakh
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  • 88.
    Beethoven: Sonatas For Piano And Violin / Oistrakh, Oborin
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 468406 Release Date: 10/09/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborin
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  • 89.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrakh Collection Vol 9
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7790 Release Date: 08/21/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Knushevitzky,  Lev Oborin,  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky  ... 
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  • 90.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrakh Collection Vol 8 - Bach
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7760 Release Date: 12/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Alexander Korneyev  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Orlov,  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Chamber Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Rostropovich - The Russian Years - Schumann, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 72294 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Yuri Shaporin,  Manuel de Falla,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Alexander Dedyukhin,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Aza Amintayeva  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 92.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrakh Collection Vol 7
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7750 Release Date: 04/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Mikhail Terian,  Sviatoslav Knushevitzky,  David Oistrakh,  Pyotr Bondarenko
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  • 93.
    David & Igor Oistrakh - Bach, Händel, Vivaldi, Benda, Et Al
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 463616 Release Date: 03/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Hans Pischner,  Igor Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Franz Konwitschny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 94.
    In Memoriam - Yehudi Menuhin - Rare Broadcast Performances
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1053 Release Date: 02/22/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Edouard Lalo,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  George Georgescu,  Ernest Ansermet,  Pierre Monteux,  Artur Rodzinski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bucharest George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 95.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrakh Collection Vol 6
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7742 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Lev Oborin,  Sviatoslav Knushevitzky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Isaac Stern - My First 79 Years
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 89049 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Daniel Barenboim,  Eugene Ormandy,  Milton Katims  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 97.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrakh Collection Vol 5
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7720 Release Date: 11/17/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georgy Catoire
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Vladimir Yampolsky,  Alexander Goldenweiser
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  • 98.
    Brahms, Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas / Oistrakh, Richter
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 489981 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 99.
    Shostakovich: Concertos / Oistrakh, Rostropovich
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 63327 Release Date: 06/16/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Mason Jones,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 100.
    Legendary Treasures - David Oistrakh Collection Vol 4
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7714 Release Date: 04/21/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Spohr,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Lev Oborin,  Sviatoslav Knushevitzky
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Alexander Orlov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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