One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

/


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Concerto for two Violins in D Minor BWV 1043 [17:14]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741)
L’Estro Armonico Op. 3: No.8 (1711) [13:04]
CÚsar FRANCK (1822-1890)
Violin Sonata in A major, Op.120 (1886) [29:15]
David Oistrakh (violin)
Igor Oistrakh (violin) (Bach, Vivaldi)
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Franz Konwitschny
Anton Ginsburg (piano)
rec. 16 April 1957, Kongresshalle Leipzig (Bach and Vivaldi), 1958 Berlin (Franck)
BERLIN CLASSICS 0300841BC [59:33]

Berlin Classics is certainly keen on repackaging. To mark the centenary of Oistrakh’s birth, which fell in 2008, they released a Concerto twofer (see review) that contained the Bach and Vivaldi concertos and added a sequence of other pieces including, importantly, the Concerto by Ernst Hermann Meyer and also some decidedly non-concerto bits and pieces. Here, now in a single disc, are the same Bach and Vivaldi concertos and this time, unannounced on the front cover, a bonus of the Franck Violin Sonata. This is a rare case of the bonus item almost exceeding in length the main show, welcome though it is.

Oistrakh and Konwitschny (‘Con-Whisky’ to British orchestral players) forged a sympathetic relationship and made a number of mid-fifties recordings together in Leipzig and Dresden. David is joined by his son Igor. I tend to favour the more seraphic, the more rapt, partnership between Oistrakh and Menuhin in the Bach Double but there is certainly no doubting the immaculate and expected rapport between father and son nor the ensemble between them. The separation of the two voices is well judged; in fact, despite the muddiness of the lower strings the actual solo violin distribution in the sound stage is fine. The Vivaldi concerto derives from L’Estro Armonico and finds the two Oistrakhs in sturdy and masculine form. The highlight of the performance is the sense of noble desolation they manage to convey in the slow movement, though the opening is suitably invigorating and galvanising. Pianophiles may recall Isidore Philipp’s marvelous transcription of the work.

I’ve never found the Franck sonata to be one of Oistrakh’s interpretative highlights, but then it’s a tricky work to get right. His lavish portamenti and control of dynamics allied to his tonal heft tend to convey an impression that he is slower and less malleable than might otherwise be the case. Anton Ginsburg is the fine accompanist but the violinist’s slightly earlier 1954 recording with Yampolsky, oft-reissued, is superior: both are preferable to the touted collaboration with Richter, live in Moscow in 1968.

The booklet is fine, however. As well as reproductions of the recording sheets and a reprint of the original LP sleeve note there is a note which quotes the Eterna label boss Dieter-Gerhardt Worm. Eterna was the East German label on which the recordings appeared. Whilst Igor Oistrakh was moody and difficult in recording sessions his father, when recording Bach’s sonatas for violin and harpsichord in Dresden, would sneak out of the studio from time to time with a tape recorder where he could be found listening to Yehudi Menuhin’s recording of the same works.
There’s nothing new to the discography here but the disc with its double butterfly cover presents its material in the best light.

Jonathan Woolf

 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical

alpha_classics.com
Alpha Classics
a new advertiser

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sheva Contemporary
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger