BEETHOVEN: Triple Concerto in C Major; MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major “Turkish”; BRAHMS: 4 Hungarian Dances; VITALI: Chaconne in G Minor – David Oistrakh, violin/Lev Oborin, piano/Sviatoslav Knushevitsky, cello – Archipel

by | Jul 10, 2005 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

BEETHOVEN: Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56; MOZART: Violin
Concerto No. 5 in A Major, “Turkish”; BRAHMS: 4 Hungarian Dances;
VITALI: Chaconne in G Minor – David Oistrakh, violin/Lev Oborin,
piano/Sviatoslav Knushevitsky, cello/Moscow Radio Symphony
Orchestra/Nicolai Golovanov, conductor/Vladimir Yampolski, piano

Archipel ARPCD 0306  74:33 (Distrib. Qualiton)**:

Vintage recordings 1949-1951 from two Russian musical superstars, David
Oistrakh (1906-1974) and Nicolai Golovanov (1891-1953), in relatively
good sound restorations which maintain the intrinsic warmth of the
principals. The 1951 Mozart A Major Concerto may be Oistrakh’s earliest
inscription of a work he came to champion over a long career.  The
playing is quick and lyrical, dancelike, even “soft” in the resonant
patina, with the miking definitely losing some of the orchestral detail
in the manner typical of pre-stereo Soviet inscriptions. Nevertheless,
the Mozart Adagio movement is exalted, quite capable of eliciting a
tear or two. Even in spite of enervated sonics, the Turkish figures
dance lightly and effortlessly, certainly without the hard energy
Mravinsky projected in his partnership with Oistrakh in this happy
piece.

Prior to hearing these restorations featuring conductor Golovanov in
Beethoven and Mozart, my only experience of these two wonderful
musicians‚ collaboration was their Scheherazade with Golovanov’s
Bolshoi Orchestra. Golovanov brings power and sensitivity to his
Beethoven, again given the imbalances in the acoustics, which strongly
favor the Oistrakh Trio. Knushevitsky’s cello is a thing of resonant
beauty. Those who know the later EMI recording with Sir Malcolm Sargent
hardly need salesmanship. BUT–the third movmeent is broken off after
four minutes in some crazy editorial oversight! Oistrakh’s playing here
in 1949 is razor sharp, more in the Milstein manner, while Lev Oborin
sails through the piano part. The short works, featuring Oistrakh and
Yampolski, regale us with the same lustrous and immaculate playing as
graced the Oistrakh legend until his untimely death from overwork
robbed us all of his stellar sound.

–Gary Lemco

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