Edited: October 9, 2017, 10:39 AM ·
Consider the following well-known video of Oistrakh and Menuhin playing Bach's Double Concerto in D minor:
I'm not sure if everyone noticed; however, both of them are using a lot of bow, e.g. Menuhin's whole bow eighth notes at the beginning of the piece.
In my music school, which basically teaches the Russian school of violin playing with Hungarian colors, my teacher will be quite upset if I were to use so much bow for those short notes: disliking the airiness of the tone.
But the tone color, or timbre, of Mehuhin and Oistrakh sounds far from airy! Their tone is full and vibrant, even through the lacking quality of the recording. Not to mention that their rhythm is precise and accurate.
So I'm quite confused now. Not only about if there was something about the art of using miles of bow that is lost in the past. But also about why the masters of the past play with such different techniques, and how did they sound like that? Oistrakh was one of the epitome of the Russian school of violin playing; however, no teacher in my school play with a remotely similar style.