Igor and David Oistrakh perform Bach, Mozart and Brahms

London, 1960-1963

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English Chamber Orchestra

Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

Sir Colin Davis — Conductor

Yehudi Menuhin — Conductor

Kirill Kondrashin — Conductor

Igor Oistrakh — Violinist

David Oistrakh — Violinist

Program notes

A Summit Meeting in London: David Oïstrakh, his son Igor, Colin Davis and Yehudi Menuhin…

He was King David. And this title was deserved: David Oïstrakh was kingly. The most fabulous violinist of the 20th century was born in Odessa in 1908. He started to work at his instrument with Piotr Stoliarski, who also taught his son Igor. Very soon, the rumour of his talent spread throughout the USSR even reaching beyond the borders that were sealed at the time. He received First Prize at the Eugène Ysaye Competition in Belgium. His playing reconciles the irreconcilable: it is Dionysian and Apollonian at the same time, firmly rooted in the ground and as light as air, virtuoso without exhibitionism... How can one define his intense, warm, powerful sound? Although he excels in the Russian repertoire, he is as happy playing all other repertoires, from the classic to the contemporary. His artistry inspires Shostakovich who writes for him the two masterpieces of the Concertos for Violin, Prokofiev who composes for him the Sonatas for Violin and Piano n°1 and 2, and Miaskovski; Khatchaturian...

In London in 1961, before an audience at the Royal Festival Hall, accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Colin Davis, he plays with his son Igor Bach's Concerto for two violins with splendid authority. It is the duo's first foreign engagement. Two years later in London, during the first tour of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, before a packed audience at the Royal Albert Hall, David Oïstrakh on the alto performs Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Alto with his son Igor on the violin, both conducted by Yehudi Menuhin. A dream.

Then follows an exceptional document: Kirill Kondrashin, one of Oistrakh's preferred conductors, directs the Brahms Concerto, which has all the warmth and confidence one would expect from a classic Oistrakh recording.

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