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Pauline Lerner

Listening

March 11, 2006 at 6:48 AM

I’ve been thinking about getting a CD of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. It has drama and tension, but everything ends happily. I went to amazon.com, listened to Papageno sung by different people, and made my choice. Before buying it, though, I looked to see what they had by David Oistrakh. I found The Devil’s Trill: Showpieces for Violin and Piano and started listening. I melted. I wasn’t aware of how much tension I had in my body. My hands opened; my arms became soft; my shoulders dropped; and my lower back relaxed and stretched out. OK, I’ve got to buy this CD. I decided to look on ebay for CDs of David Oistrakh. I have occasionally found very low price CDs of David Oistrakh sold by a Russian or someone with a strong connectionto Russia. A lot of Oistrakh’s recordings were made in Russia during the Cold War, and we are finally getting access to digitally remastered recordings of him. Wow! I stumbled on a real bargain – a set of 12 Oistrakh CDs for $32, and I had to buy it. A friend lent me a DVD of Oistrakh, and I’ve been listening to it for hours. I never cared much for the Sibelius Concerto, but this recording was so beautiful that I listened to it over and over. It had such a warm, deep, and, sometimes, dark sound. The DVD also has a lot of other music played by David Oistrakh. When I watch him, I’m absolutely blown away by his technique. He does so many difficult things so well. Even more impressive to me, though, is his sound. How can I describe it? Warm, rich clear, very expressive, almost heavenly. I believe that I could feel happy for a long time if I immerse myself in his playing.
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