Notes and Editorial Reviews
So many great recordings of Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto by David Oistrakh, so little time. There's his recording with Dimitri Mitropoulos leading the New York Philharmonic, his recording with Yevgeny Mravinsky leading the Leningrad Philharmonic, and his recording with Maxim Shostakovich leading the New Philharmonia -- this recording. Both the Mitropoulos and the Mravinsky come from 1956 -- and both are urgent, forceful performances inspired by the overwhelming need to compel conversion. The Shostakovich was recorded in 1972 -- and it, too, is an urgent, forceful performance but now without the need to compel conversion; that mission had already been accomplished. Instead, Oistrakh, supported by the intuitive and insightful
conducting of the composer's son, turns in a performance of supercharged emotional intensity. While Oistrakh's earlier recordings had the fresh passion of new love, his later recording had the seasoned ardor of long acquaintance and deep knowledge. He had always known what the concerto was about; but after he'd lived with it for nearly two decades, he knew what it could do -- and exactly what to do to make it do it. The result is a brooding, brilliant, brutal, and bumptious performance that easily overshadows all other performances -- except, of course, Oistrakh's other performances.
So which Oistrakh recording to hear? It depends on the coupling. This one comes with a quite lovely performance of the First Cello Concerto by Paul Tortelier with Paavo Berglund leading the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 1973. The Mitropoulos, however, comes with a rip-roaring performance of the same work by Rostropovich with Eugene Ormandy leading the Philadelphia from 1959 -- an altogether more persuasive performance. On the other hand, the Mravinsky usually comes with a riveting performance of the Second Violin Concerto by Oistrakh with Rozhdestvensky leading the Moscow Philharmonic in 1968. And, to make matters more complicated, there's also an electrifying live performance of the first concerto by Oistrakh with Shostakovich leading the New Philharmonia recorded a few weeks earlier than this one that usually comes with a searing live performance of the Second Concerto by Oistrakh with Svetlanov leading the USSR Symphony, also from 1968. So which Oistrakh recording to hear? The answer, of course, is all of them.
-- James Leonard, AllMusic.com
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Cello no 1 in E flat major, Op. 107 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Paul Tortelier (Cello)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1959; USSR
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, Op. 77 by Dmitri Shostakovich
David Oistrakh (Violin)
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Notes: This concerto was originally published in 1956 as Op. 99.
Composition written: USSR (1947 - 1955).
Cello Concerto No. 1 in Eb Op.107 (2006 Digital Remaster): Allegretto
Cello Concerto No. 1 in Eb Op.107 (2006 Digital Remaster): Moderato
Cello Concerto No. 1 in Eb Op.107 (2006 Digital Remaster): Cadenza
Cello Concerto No. 1 in Eb Op.107 (2006 Digital Remaster): Allegro con moto
Concerto for violin & orchestra No. 1 in A minor Op. 99 (2005 Digital Remaster): Nocturne: Moderato
Concerto for violin & orchestra No. 1 in A minor Op. 99 (2005 Digital Remaster): Scherzo: Allegro
Concerto for violin & orchestra No. 1 in A minor Op. 99 (2005 Digital Remaster): Passacaglia: Andante - Cadenza
Concerto for violin & orchestra No. 1 in A minor Op. 99 (2005 Digital Remaster): Burlesque: Allegro con brio
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