MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: Crotchet

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975)
Fanfare [1:47]
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Violin Concerto No.2 in C sharp minor Op.129 (1967) [28.01]
Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Violin Concerto in D major Op.35 (1880) [33:41]
David Oistrakh (violin)
London Symphony Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Maxim Shostakovich (Tchaikovsky)
rec. 19 November 1967, Royal Festival Hall, London and 26 November 1972, Royal Albert Hall, London (Tchaikovsky)
BBC LEGENDS BBCL4267-2 [63:48]

Experience Classicsonline

Sated as we are with live Oistrakh material, one could easily pass by this release without noting that the live performance of the Shostakovich is its ‘Western’ premiere. Oistrakh had played it on three occasions in Russia. It was rehearsed by him and Kondrashin and then given two pre-premieres in September 1967 before the official premiere on 26 October. This London performance followed on 19 November. It was apparently arranged at short notice and fitted into the touring Ormandy’s existing schedule with the LSO.

It was also an LSO Trust gala, which explains the sparkily brief Bliss Fanfare. The BBC engineers coped well with the RFH acoustic. The balance between soloist and orchestra and the important role of principal horn (Barry Tuckwell) have all been well and justly delineated. The performance itself demonstrates once again, even in this sombre musical context, Oistrakh’s matchless legato and breadth of tone and phrasing. The vestiges of the first movement Chassidic dance are taken up by soloist and orchestra adeptly, marshalled by the ex-violinist and excellent accompanist Ormandy. There’s powerfully wrought expression throughout, the ‘bass up’ sonorities of the slow movement being especially notable. Those drivingly caustic exchanges in the finale and the dramatically etched cadenza are similar examples of knife-edge excellence. Oistrakh collectors will know of the live 1968 Rozhdestvensky-led performance he gave, once released on Melodiya C10-17502 - obviously not the same performance as the 1968 Svetlanov live recording that came out on Intaglio CD, nor yet the same year’s Moscow/Kondrashin live performance that was also issued on Melodiya and licensed to Eurodisc, HMV, Melodiya-Angel in America et al. Whichever you choose - and the 1968 Rozhdestvensky is now available in an Oistrakh Brilliant box - you can be assured that the frisson of the BBC performance is second to none. 
The Tchaikovsky came five years later and was taped at the Royal Albert Hall, this time with the LPO and Maxim Shostakovich. Warmly and broadly conceived this fits into the accepted parameters of an Oistrakh rendition. There are no great surprises. The tone is ripe and rich, the ensemble secure, even though there are one or two very slight moments of untidiness, and though I did feel the conductor at points retarding momentum very slightly. Oistrakh leaps into the cadenza with muscularity and dynamism, and plays the slow movement with beautifully textured lightness. He characterises the finale with all his old assurance, those dance elements really registering, the line never coming under pressure - the woozy and whistling moments (Sarasate derived, I always think) full of saucy conviction.

There is a plethora of Oistrakh performances of this work from which to choose, if you can, or need to. There was Gauk, Kondrashin (twice) and Samosud - that last one with the Bolshoi on Vox, Murray Hill and Joker. Kempe 1959 preceded the famous Ormandy of 1960, though you will have come across the Konwitschny/Saxon in a cheapo box - maybe the Heliodor. There’s also the Brilliant box set that contains the 27 September 1968 Rozhdestvensky-directed broadcast.

Tough choices ahead then. There’s the cachet of the Western premiere of the Shostakovich - if the frisson of such things appeals to you - and a very good, though not in truth outstanding Tchaikovsky.

Jonathan Woolf





Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.