Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Review of DAVID OSTRAKH Recital CD on ALPHA OMEGA SOUND

Below is a short review of the David Oistrakh recital CD recording (from the SODRE Archive) on the Alpha Omega Sound label, published in The Straits Times (Singapore) on 10 January 2013.



THE SODRE COLLECTION
DAVID OISTRAKH, Violin
with VLADIMIR YAMPOLSKY, Piano
Alpha Omega Sound / ****1/2

This extremely rare “live” recording from 9 April 1954 was unearthed in the archives of SODRE, the official radio and television broadcasting service of Montevideo, Uruguay. It represents the Soviet-era Russian violinist David Oistrakh (1908-1974) at the height of his powers while on tour to the West. His programme was unusually eclectic despite offering no Russian music within. It opens with Jean-Marie Leclair’s Third Sonata, in the four-movement sonata da chiesa form that was popular during the Baroque era. Nowadays, it is rarely heard outside of the period instrument circle, but Oistrakh’s politically incorrect and vibrato-rich account makes no excuses for the music, which is charming and unpretentious.

The gem of this hour-long recital is a complete performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the original piano accompaniment. This version is seldom ever recorded, although regularly played at conservatory and student recitals. Oistrakh performs it as if accompanied by an orchestra, with no punches pulled or half measures taken. It is a searing account, tender in the slow movement while the furious finale lives on a knife-edge throughout. The disc is completed by Belgian Ernest Chausson’s rhapsodic Poeme, also accompanied by pianist Vladimir Yampolsky. This invaluable addition to the Oistrakh discography may be purchased from various on-line retailers via the Internet. 

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