David Oistrakh

Mozart: Violin Sonatas [Includes DVD]

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In his biography, Paul Badura-Skoda, the gifted Austrian pianist, made these comments on playing Mozart's violin sonatas with David Oistrakh, the great Soviet violinist: "There was heartening agreement right from the start on that unique blend of gaiety and gravity, humor and melancholy, tender childlikeness and virile strength (in Mozart's music). If initially there was still some characteristics of the old romantic school, in the course of time his playing became even more stripped of excess, purer and leaner." It's all true. Listening to these glorious performances from a live concert at the Carinthischer Summer Festival on August 30, 1972. Oistrakh's tone is pure and lean, far purer and leaner than his Tchaikovsky, his Shostakovich, or even his Beethoven, with a clarity and simplicity to his playing that eschew all virtuosity for the joy of making music. When coupled in comfortable partnership with the alert and affectionate Badura-Skoda, Oistrakh still sounds like Oistrakh, but he sounds like a happy and carefree Oistrakh and the effect is magical. Also included in this package is a DVD of a performance Oistrakh and Badura-Skoda gave that same month of three of the same works and watching the two of them together confirms the impression. The stereo sound from the Austrian Radio is a bit distant but still palpably present.

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