David Oistrakh

David Oistrach Performs Chausson, Saint-Saens, Leclair, Ysaye & Locatelli

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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell

David Oistrach was among the greatest violinists to emerge in his generation and, arguably, one of the finest and most well-rounded violinists in the past century. His training was in the very traditional Russian school, but his repertoire and interpretive skills encompassed nearly all of his instrument's repertoire. Oistrach was equally active as a soloist with orchestras, a chamber musician, conductor, and a teacher. This brilliantly restored album on the Monopole album demonstrates just how broad Oistrach's playing abilities were, showcasing many lesser-known works for the violin. The disc opens with a warm, sensual performance of Ernest Chausson's Poeme in which Oistrach's command over everything from shades of vibrato, dynamics, and subtle changes in tempo blends beautifully with the equally elegant accompaniment provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Charles Münch. After a dazzling and fiery performance of Saint-Saëns' Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso, the remainder of the album is devoted to works for violin and piano. Accompanied by pianist Vladimir Yampolsky, the duo covers a wonderfully diverse program of works by Leclair, Ysaÿe, Locatelli, and Debussy. Both Oistrach and Yampolsky change styles with remarkable attention to detail, giving listeners elegant Leclair, passionate Ysaÿe, explosively dexterous Locatelli, and suave Debussy. Monopole's restored sound is remarkably clear and warm.

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