David Oistrakh

David Oistrakh: The Complete EMI Recordings

(CD - EMI Classics / Warner Classics #5099921471)

Review by

While only the faithful are likely to try this 17-disc set of violinist David Oistrakh's complete recordings for EMI, they will no doubt fall all over themselves in their rush to get it. How could they not? It contains all the recordings the great Soviet violinist made for EMI: his 1958 and 1969 recordings of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, his 1954 and 1958 recordings of the same composer's violin concerto, his 1956 and 1969 recordings of Brahms' Double Concerto, his 1960 and 1969 recordings of the same composer's violin concerto plus recordings of concertos and sonatas by composers running the gamut from Mozart to Shostakovich. In each and every performance, Oistrakh demonstrates not only his impeccable technique but his warm tone and above all his irreproachable interpretations. No matter what the style or content of the work, Oistrakh understands every one from the inside out. There is tart sweetness in his Schubert, chaste passion in his Franck, cold fire in his Sibelius, insouciant sparkle in his Lalo, tempered strength in his Beethoven, aching lyricism in his Prokofiev, and reserved rapture in his Brahms. While EMI's sound ranges from merely functional monaural live recordings to opulent stereo studio recordings, the quality of the performances is consistently outstanding. Listeners deeply interested in twentieth century violinists in general and in Oistrakh in particular will surely want to at least sample this box set.

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