David Oistrakh

David Oistrakh plays Beethoven, Leclair & Paganini

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Violinist David Oistrakh is no stranger to even the most novice of listeners. As one of the preeminent violinists of the 20th century, Oistrakh was extremely active as a soloist, chamber musician, pedagogue, and recording artist. Though we are fortunate to have an abundance of his recorded work readily available on CD, there is still plenty to be remastered and transferred to digital media. This IDIS album represents one such effort. The disc opens with a 1960 performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano della RAI. The orchestra's sound is nicely restored with a warm balance and clear distinction between the various sections. Not until Oistrakh makes his first entrance in the first movement do listeners realize just how pleasing the album's sound is. Oistrakh clearly rises above the orchestra with an impressively clear, present tone and delivers a meticulous, engaging reading of the Beethoven. The rest of the album is devoted to studio recordings of works for violin and piano with Vladimir Jampolsky. The sonatas of Leclair, Locatelli, and Paganini give Oistrakh more than ample opportunities to demonstrate his considerable technique and ability to make even the most virtuosic passages seem musically fulfilling. These recordings, taken from the 1950s, are not quite as clear and sweet sounding as the Beethoven, but they are still clear and free of hiss. Oistrakh fans will welcome this addition to their collections.

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