David Oistrakh in memoriam


This is probably where my dislike for historical performances comes from. Yes, musicians love this kind of thing. It is showing off the virtuosity of a particular violinist, that was considered the top of his trade. I go for the audio quality, and that is terrible. For starters, this is mono.

Then these recordings also totally missing soundstage. It is all flat, no way of getting any depth of the stage. It has this strange acoustic to it, where you noticed the orchestra is somewhere far away from the microphone. Recording techniques were just not that good in the fifties, and most of this record was made in 1954.

David Oistrakh himself was maybe the best violin player Russia ever had. Born in Odessa in 1908, he picked up the violin at the age of five. Pretty soon he was known to the best of that world. Shostakovich and Khachaturian dedicated their violin concerti to him, and he played a famous chess match against the composer Prokofiev. He died in 1974 in Amsterdam, of a heart attack.

There is an asteroid named after him. How many musicians can say that.

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