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CD Review

Tchaikovsky / Brahms

BBC Legends 4102

Violin Concertos

David Oistrakh, Violin
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Norman Del Mar
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Malcolm Sargent
BBC Legends BBCL4102-2 74m ADD
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Oistrakh always reigned supreme in the romantic concerto repertoire and this is amply portrayed in these two warhorses with recordings dating from the early 60's.

My particular favourite is the Tchaikovsky which is brimful of beautiful orchestral melodies and some very ravishing work for the soloist who must be of top-notch quality to succeed in gleaning a good interpretation.

Nonetheless, the brilliant Oistrakh plays with daredevil prowess and he is wonderfully supported by Norman Del Mar, another lamented master of the podium.The Finale has to be one of the finest ever recorded and that includes Campoli, Ricci, Ferras and Heifetz.

In the Brahms, one may detect a slight hesitancy by Sargent to press the tempo but the interpretation is wonderful just the same. The expansive opening movement is given full reign and Oistrakh plays with his usual mastery.

Although the recordings are not top drawer quality, the CD is still essential listening for recalling spanking performances of these great concertos to the catalogue.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech

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