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David Oistrakh - his art - concerts in Vienna and remarkable recordings

Very late, David Oistrakh has been granted the opportunity to tour to the western hemisphere of the world. Until that time, his art was only known by his recordings on LP-disc; these were mainly produced by the labels "Melodya", a Russian label, and "Eterna" of Eastern Germany.

By memories of his Concerts in Vienna between 1966 and 1974 and some remarkable recordings the art of D. Oistrakh is described

Concerts of David Oistrakh in Vienna

David Oistrakh had the opportunity to play at the Vienna Musikverein not earlier than 1956 (June, 21st.). As a conductor he had his first appearance in 1966 (May, 24th.).
Earlier concerts at the "Wiener Konzerthaus" are found here....
Konzert von David Oistrach
Concert on May, 22nd, 1966:
David and Igor Oistrakh played the concerto in d-minor, BWV 1043 by Bach. The concert began with the symphony Nr. 48 in C by Haydn and ended with the 9th. Symphony by A. Bruckner.
Die Vienna Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch.

The double concerto by Bach was also recorded by David and Igor Oistrakh on LP records. The precision if their play, the richness of sound and their stylistic authenticity deserve special attention. The difference in tempest between father and son became apparent: As soon as Igor Oistrakh took more liberty of tempo or agogic, the raise of the eyebrow of the father put things back to his style or tempo. The interpretation was not affected by a too big sound of David O. who displayed so many shades of his tone, what could be mentioned was the "classic" interpretation of Bach in that concert, as opposed to the modern, but baroque interpretations of toady's Baroque ensembles,playing old instruments and bows and striving to the "original" sound. At the time of this concert, the interpretation of <Oistrakh was considered the most valid of the time.

Concert on may, 24th, 1966:
David Oistrakh
conducted the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.
After Oberon-Ouverture by Weber, Igor Oistrakh played the Concert op. 61 by Mendelssohn. In the second part, David Oistrakh conducted and played the Concerto in a-minor by Bach.
The Concert closed with the 2nd symphony by Franz Schubert.
Although the tone of D. Oistrakh is sometimes quoted as too big when playing Bach, this concert gave prove of the stylistic feeling of the soloist and conductor. Being perfect as an interpretation of Bach, the sound of Oistrakh added greatness and novelty to the solo-part. The program can be viewed be clicking on the link at the right side.

Konzert von David Oistrach
Konzert von David Oistrach

May 26th, 1966: Concert of the Berliner Staatskapelle conducted by Otmar Suitner:
Große Fuge in B-Major, op. 133
Concert op. 61, soloist: David Oistrakh
Variations and Fuge for orchestra, op. 132


These two concerts in Vienna could be considered as the "Visit-card" of D. Oistrakh; his playing was characterized by his great tone, which he could even raise over the orchestra at the forte passages. The cadenza of the concerto by Beethoven was played with incredibly strong an clear sound, which caused my friend, Gustav Kuhn, to state:
"this was the violin concerto by David Oistrakh".

Being a little bit exaggerated, there is some truth in his statement; he related to the extraordinary dominating of the soloist, who on the other hand did never collide stylistically with the nature of either concert.

Konzert von David Oistrach
28. May 1966: Concert of the Berliner Staatskapelle conducted by Otmar Suitner:
M. Ravel:
La Valse
Concert op. 35. Soloist: David Oistrakh
Richard Strauß:
Also sprach Zarathustra
Konzert von David Oistrach

May26th, 1968: Solo-Recital, accompanied by Frieda Bauer.
Schubert: Duo in A-major, DV 574;
Prokofieff: The rarely played Sonata Nr. 1 in f-minor, ( devoted to D. Oistrakh );
in the second part:
Sonata "Devils-trill"
: Sonata in G-major.
The audience achieved to hear the following extras:
L. Janacek: Ballade;
: Hungarian folk tunes;
Locatelli: "Das harmonische Labyrinth".

Konzert von David Oistrach

The memory of this concert left D. Oistrakh dominating over Frieda Bauer, an excellent pianist, however not at the level of a partnership such as D.O. with S. Richter, or Gidon Kremer with Martha Agerich. D. Oistrakh displayed a multi-colored intense Prokofieff, in a full range from ppp to ff, especially in the second movement which was never heard before. Ravel was given in excessive emotional interpretation, especially the Blues introduction of the second movement.
The cadenza of the "Devils-trill" can be best described as an orgy of sound.
The top link leads to the review at "Die Presse"; nothing can be added to this statement.

May 22nd 1970: Solo-Recital with Frieda Bauer at the piano.
Bach: Sonata in A-major, BWV 1015;
Schostakowitsch: Sonata op. 134 (1968);
Beethoven: Kreutzer-Sonata
Schubert: from the Sonata op. 162
Brahms: Scherzo in c-minor
Beethoven: Sonata op.30/3 (allegro)

Konzert von David Oistrach
Konzert von David Oistrach
1972: Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on May, 28th at the Musikverein in Vienna, this was the opening concert of the Vienna Spring festival.
Conductor and Soloist: David Oistrakh (Viola), Soloist: Igor Oistrakh (Violin).
Mozart: Divertimento KV 251
Sinfonia concertante KV 364
Symphony KV 551 (Jupiter)
Konzert von David Oistrach
June 11th, 1972: Concert at the Musikverein in Vienna:
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado
Brahms: Concerto op. 77
Bruckner: 1. Symphony in c-minor

August 20th, 1972:
David Oistrakh and Sjatoslav Richter:

Brahms: Sonata Nr. 2 in A-major;
Bartok: Sonata Nr. 1;
Prokofieff: Sonata Nr. 1 in f-minor


Konzert von David Oistrach
I would without doubt rank this concert among the top-ever performance in violin history. Oistrakh and Richter displayed an excessively intense interpretation, one inspiring the other, making this concert an extraordinary event. All 3 compositions were cast to their individual style, using dynamics and colors in addition to the the equally distributed weight of the partners What could be added or demanded more?