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CD Review

Decca Legends

David Oistrakh

David Oistrakh, violin
Igor Oistrakh, viola
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/Kirill Kondrashin
London Symphony Orchestra/Jascha Horenstein
London Symphony Orchestra/Paul Hindemith
Decca Legends 470258-2 2CDs 110m ADD
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These are some of Oistrakh's most famous Decca recordings and they are full of the unique artistry with which he was undoubtedly endowed with. I have some qualms over the first disc in this collection which is a mite less than 50 minutes but the spellbinding performance of the Sinfonia Concertante is truly awesome. David and Igor are perfect partners and the Moscow Philharmonic's playing under Kirill Kondrashin is captured in full blooded Decca sound, surely a rare occasion for the orchestra.

The Duo is also splendidly played by father and son, here we have all the empathy and understanding that one could imagine and the recording in Decca's West Hampstead Studios is truly crystal clear. The recordings of the Bruch Scottish Fantasia and the Hindemith Concerto are already legendary and simply appear in better sound than before. The poetry and utter sense of joy in the former are matched by the virility and intellectual objectivity of the latter directed by the composer himself.

The recordings have come up in astonishing sound and the lavish brochure is full of photographs and other interesting information. This is an album to treasure on all counts, and a fine memorial to Oistrakh the legend.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech