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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Violin Concerto
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Eugene Ormandy, Zubin Mehta
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Violin Concerto
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

David Oistrakh was one of those violinists beloved by people who don't especially like violinists. Don't get me wrong, plenty of violin aficionados love him too. But the fact that he played with such warmth of tone and mus...  more »


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All Artists: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Eugene Ormandy, Zubin Mehta, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Emil Gilels, David Oistrakh
Title: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Violin Concerto
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/1991
Re-Release Date: 4/5/1991
Genre: Classical
Styles: Forms & Genres, Concertos, Instruments, Keyboard, Strings, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074644633924

Synopsis essential recording
David Oistrakh was one of those violinists beloved by people who don't especially like violinists. Don't get me wrong, plenty of violin aficionados love him too. But the fact that he played with such warmth of tone and musicality, never indulging in the screeching cat-music stuff that some violinists think sounds flashy, makes him uniquely listenable to folks not into violin playing for its own sake. Perhaps the fact that he was also a distinguished conductor had something to do with it, for he always seems to know where he is--how everything fits together. His performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto is a case in point: soulful, exciting, never ragged or overblown. Add Emil Gilels' epic rendering of the Piano Concerto and how can you refuse? --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

Tchaikovsky really IS Russian!
Jeremy Starr | Provo, UT | 02/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My family, all violinists, has been a great admirer of the marvelous violinist David Oistrakh ever since I can remember. My Dad has always revered him above the rest for his complete violin playing, bolstered by having accompanied him while playing in the Utah Symphony back in the 1960s - Oistrakh played the Shostakovich violin concerto with them in Greece. The performance took place in an ancient Greek amphitheater and my Dad recounts how the audience, at the end of Oistrakh's performance, was still clapping after the entire symphony had packed up and leaving on the bus....Oistrakh gives the music everything that it needs to easily be understood and - most importantly - felt. To put it in simpler terms, Oistrakh didn't play to show off his virtuosity, he played music and let the music overwhelm the listener with its powerful meaning and depth. He was a medium through which the listener could really know how the composer would have wanted his piece to be played.That having been said, I must echo one of the other reviewer's opinion, in saying that I believe this to be the finest recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto to date. I have recordings of Heifetz playing the piece when he was young and other violinists as well. I have also heard the piece performed by even more violinists live and from other recordings, and I always had a puzzling question in my mind: how is this piece Russian? I had always had troubles understanding the piece itself. When artists would perform the work, I heard many pretty melodies and a lot of difficult technique being performed, but obviously, there was more to the piece than that. I then received this recording for Christmas, about 5 years ago, listened to it, thought it was pretty great but was still too immature in my music-making to really grasp the true quality of the performance on the recording. I put it with the rest of my CD collection and didn't listen to it for another 3 years.As I worked my way through my performance degree in college, I became more and more familiar with my instrument and - the Tchaikovsky concerto itself. Soon, that old question resurfaced, and I decided to listen to the recording again, this time being able to pay better attention to Oistrakh's interpretation. I began to listen, and heard many things I had never heard, many times thinking to myself, "Well, that sounds sort of Russian," or "That was well-executed." However, it wasn't until the opening of the third movement that Tchaikovsky's heritage unveiled its beautiful head in Oistrakh's hands. Following a short, jarring orchestral introduction, the violin comes in with a short cadenza. From other recordings, the cadenza had seemed like a time for the performer to let the audience know he could play ferociously and intensely with whatever rubato he pleased to achieve that effect. I wasn't expecting anything different. However, when Oistrakh entered, it wasn't an angry feline I heard, but the opening steps of a bonified Russian dancer! I was overjoyed and couldn't believe my ears! Yet, how he achieved it was so simple. He merely followed the music and took the music in a straight, measured tempo (without rubato), playing it with dignified grandeur, rather than biting vengeance. The rest of the third movement was exactly what he had introduced - a lively, heart-thumping Russian tribute, filled with his understanding of his country and how its music is to be played."
A Classical Fan | New York, NY USA | 11/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are many great recordings of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, but my best goes to this recording by Oistrakh and Ormandy. Oistrakh's Tchaikovsky stands out in its expression, structure and technique. He measures and constructs the music so well, then successfully brings out the lyricism of the music. His phrasing is so intense and tone so rich, yet expression is free spirited throughout. His technique is amazing in the way of its use: technique with reason and quality. Midori, Vengerov, Chung, Chang, Heifetz and Perlman are great too, yet I chose this as the best because of his understanding of this music. This recording stands out in every aspect, and I can see Oistrakh's influence in almost all the recordings of Tchaikovsky by today's violinists. Emil Gilels' Tchaikovsky (Piano Concerto) had been my classic for a long time until Argerich's recording came out in 94. Gilels is so balanced in its music making while Argerich is totally driven by the music. Probably Gilels' is more of THE standard because every detail is clearly understood and beautifully expressed. But, my best goes to Argerich's 94 recordings with Abbado in its emotional depth and ultimate excitement.I think, just listening to Oistrakh is worth buying this disc."
Class acts
J. Buxton | Waltham, MA United States | 12/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Kudos to Sony for making these recordings available at a bargain price. First, although Mehta's relationship with the NYPO was somewhat rocky, they were certainly "on" this night along with Gilels. Gilels is a legend and I wanted to hear his Tchaikovsky. He does not disappoint. The combination of technical prowess along with romantic feeling can be heard throughout. It is a live recording, and there is a sense of it being a special occassion. The violin concerto is equally satisfying. Although this is a showpiece, Oistrakh doesn't dazzle us at the expense of the music. Again, the absurdly difficult technical demands of this piece are handled in stride, but the overall sense of emotion is maintained. How can you pass this up?"