Oistrakh and Kogan?

July 8, 2007 at 05:32 AM · Which of the two great soviet violinists do you prefer and why?

Replies (64)

July 8, 2007 at 04:28 PM · joel, who do you prefer, heifetz or kogan?

July 9, 2007 at 01:25 PM · Grumiaux and Francescatti "falling short of the monumental"????

To my ear, there is no better interpretation, technically and musically and emotionally, of the Beethoven Concerto than Francescatti's performance with Ormandy and the Philadelphia.

AND, how does it get better than the original Grumiaux recording of the Brahms?

That is not to say that Oistrakh and Kogan were not in a league of their own. I am lucky to have heard both, live (Kogan once and Oistrakh about 6 times, 3 of those the Beethoven). Choosing between them is like deciding which one of your children you love more. Tough question.


July 9, 2007 at 05:58 PM · I can't decide between them. Both were special and unique performers.

July 9, 2007 at 06:37 PM · As between the two I heard both in concert--Oistrakh filled the room with sound--Kogan looked as though he was hard at workut the sound was spare, slim, unsatisfying. Moreover, I find Oistrakh always has something interesting to say and while Kogan can be a most interesting and elegant player a la Heifetz he can also be crude as in his Nel cor piu non mi sento. I do find Oistrakh's playing to be very sensual and available I would not call it cerebral by and large but then if it were I would probably not find it as satisfying. I don't like people who play as though they have pink water in their veins and though Kogan is more satisfying than a Midori for me if I have a choice between the two Russians in the same repertoire I choose Oistrakh.

July 10, 2007 at 01:33 AM · As for me, the original poster, I much prefer Oistrakh... Kogan is overly aggressive, crude, and not very musically interesting to my ears... I'll admit he had better technique than oistrakh, but that's about it. I've never heard anybody with such a tone and interpretation like Oistrakh, who remains one of my favorite violinists despite intonation problems in his recordings

July 10, 2007 at 04:25 AM · I am inclined to say Kogan, primarily because he had more of the flashy, virtuoso pyrotechnics:)



July 10, 2007 at 07:00 AM · For many years I saw Heifetz as the 'only' violinist. Then about 6 years ago, I discovered Kogan. I now own at least 50 CDs of his.

Of course, I enjoy Oistrakh, Yulian Sitkovetsky and Rabin too, but Kogan stands out for me as one of the two greatest violin geniuses.

I can't think of why anyone would see Kogan as crude or aggressive. Actually, I can see why some may think these things of Heifetz, and I too sometimes wish that Heifetz would slow down. After years of careful listening, I believe that Kogan's technique was the nearest to Heifetz.

Most of Kogan's recordings are truly sublime!

David Lillis

July 10, 2007 at 11:26 AM · Oistrak was a giant even though differently from Kogan he never focused on Paganini repertoire. It's a pity not for concertos which are pretty boring but for caprices, an absolute masterpiece.

July 10, 2007 at 01:36 PM · The one time I heard Kogan live was his first recital in Chicago on his first ever tour of the United States (mid-late 50's). The publicity buildup was phenomenal. He was in his prime, and his playing that night is one of the highlights of my concert-going life. His sound filled the hall - like Oistrakh (whom I heard in the same venue) - and it was with a smoothness, depth, technical mastery, and artistry that ranks it as one of the greatest violin performances I have ever heard - in person or on records - by ANYBODY.

He played the Bach C Major Sonata in a manner that was totally "romantic" but still an unbelieveable performance. In the great C Major Fugue, he seemed to play the chords legato; you simply heard everything smooth and connected, and effortless. I have no idea how he did it. And you heard every voice clearly and distinctly.

And one of the pieces was the Caprice Basque, which still rates as the very best, most exciting, most beautiful, and most "Spanish" performance I have ever heard.

Maybe Kogan's playing became "rough" or inconsistent later on. But that night, nobody could touch him. His tone production, quality, and "voice" were sensational. From a purely technical point of view, his playing sounded effortless (like Milstein at his best).

I met him briefly in the green room after the concert, where there were several of us high school students waiting to get his autograph. He signed mine (I am sorry to say that it has long since disappeared), and smiled at me very warmly. He was also a little nervous, and he was hovered over by two massive-looking (what I assumed to be) Russian bodyguards in cheap suits. It was quite an evening.

Those qualities of his supreme artistry are evident on many of his recordings, but (alas) maybe not on all of them.


July 10, 2007 at 01:55 PM · Hey, Joel: Never did I ever believe I would talk with someone who was at the same Kogan concert; fantastic! I also heard Oistrakh at the old McCormick center. When I heard him, he played the Prokofiev Concerto #1 (I forget the orchestra). The outer two movements were played in an unbelieveable manner. However, the 2nd movement scherzo, was a total mess. Oistrakh seemed to just not get into it from the first notes, and it was technically, musically, and in every other way littered with mistakes, dropped notes, and inappropriate accents. The audience applauded warmly anyway. Then, when he came back on stage for an encore, he replayed that scherzo. This time, it was unbelieveably exciting and note perfect.

And, what a small world. I knew Bob Kagan also. He was a very good friend of my mother and late stepfather (Judge Harry G. Hershenson).

Cheers, Sandy


July 10, 2007 at 03:59 PM · Joel:

I saw Heifetz (in recital at Orchestra Hall) only once. If memory serves, I think I might have been at the Heifetz one you mention, also, but I don't remember as much about it, except for his tone. I think he played the Franck Sonata. I don't remember much of the program, so it could have been different, but what you describe sounds familiar.

Also Bob and Miriam were also very close friends with my mother and step-father. Do you remember Harry and Anita? That would be them.

I also saw Michael Rabin once, in about 1961 or 62. It was at the Robin Hood Dell in Philadelphia, and he played the Paganini 1st Concerto - spectacularly. This is also a cherished memory of a performance that was beyond belief.

When I was in grammar school and high school, I studied with Angelo Rico at Roosevelt (he was a Gomberg pupil, I think). Afterwards, in college (Antioch College in Ohio), I studied with Larry Grika and Myron Kartman. I consider all of my teachers as having been excellent and as giving me a good enough foundation to play credibly as an amateur. After college, my lessons have been sporadic, but I have always tried to play every day and maintain what I learned.

Cordially, Sandy

PS. "I hate music, especially when it's played." - Jimmy Durante

July 10, 2007 at 04:50 PM · Joel and Sandy,

All I can say is that I envy both of you for having heard each live. (For the record, Oistrakh and Kogan top my "desert island" list.)

July 10, 2007 at 06:10 PM · i prefer josh bell over both of them. they are both cold, josh bell is hot.

July 10, 2007 at 06:12 PM · Bell: none knew him at the airport!

July 10, 2007 at 06:13 PM · Thanks, Maia. I'm sure that some day far in the future you will be recounting your recollections of the great violinists of today. If I'm actually still alive by then, I'm sure I'll be so old that my views on any subject will be quite worthless. :)

Joel, my mother doesn't remember your folks, but she's sure that Harry would have known them (he was very well-known in legal circles in Chicago and would have known them).


Joshua who???? :) just kidding

July 10, 2007 at 07:30 PM · hey joel did you find calabrese?

July 10, 2007 at 07:34 PM · Joel - yes. He had on jeans, a shirt and Washington Nationals baseball hat.

July 10, 2007 at 07:46 PM · I just find that there are more expressive recordings than kogan's... For example, Vengerov's shostakovich compared to Kogan's is far more lyrical and singing while all kogan does it accent and play each note loudly...

July 10, 2007 at 08:52 PM · Oistrakh for me is the biggest inspiration.

I think he is the biggest violinist ever.

The second is Heifetz for me, but I love them both. I don't know Kogan as well as them both. Sure, I listened his performens but Oistrakh is for me somebody totally diferend than anyone.

July 10, 2007 at 10:12 PM · Someone's put one of those 'compilations' together on YouTube and features Kogan taking over the Khachaturian from Oistrakh. I couldn't help being struck by how much sweeter and more moving the Kogan playing was.

July 11, 2007 at 01:47 AM · Joel,

I'd love to see a list of the best of Kogan from you. So far I’ve got his Beethoven concerto recorded live in 1980, and after I had read you posts, I ordered his 1978 Salzburg live (Sonatas by Beethoven, Brahms, Franck, etc). I haven't heard enough to say whether he'll be my favorite yet but would like to learn more about his playing.

Thanks for the wonderful and informative posts.

July 11, 2007 at 03:56 AM · "Someone's put one of those 'compilations' together on YouTube and features Kogan taking over the Khachaturian from Oistrakh. I couldn't help being struck by how much sweeter and more moving the Kogan playing was."

-sorry, I don't really feel moved by Kogan's played at all... Totally opposite with oistrakh though

July 11, 2007 at 04:59 AM · Joel and Sander, I heard Oistrakh at the old McCormick Place too...he played a Bach concerto. Andd like you guys, my family moved in legal circles too -- both sides of the circle; my uncle was George Schatz, a big-time judge, and another great uncle was "Butsy" Ladon ("Butsy," which I had thought cute, actually had rather another meaning within the Jewish crime syndicate). I heard Kogan play the C-Major sonata at Orchestra Hall, too. For sheer stage presence no one could compete with Tossy Spivakovsky, however, whom perhaps no one remembers any more (saw him at Orchestra Hall, too).

July 11, 2007 at 05:46 AM · Greetings,

I remember him. I had old 78s of his Tchiakovsky. Now iI only have him palying a litlte Paginini. He is interviewed in the Way they play volume one. One oft he extraordinary statements he makes about bowing is that one shold have the little finger opposite the thumb for the best possible leverage. Mmmm.



July 11, 2007 at 11:40 AM · I remember Spivakovsky very well. I saw him once at a Grant Park open air concert in Chicago (circa 1959). His recordings of the Sibelius and Tchaikovsky are available on a CD, plus another CD of encore pieces. As I recall, he made a specialty of the Sibelius Concerto, and that's what I heard him play live. It was a little eccentric, I thought, but spectacular. His tone and approached seemed a perfect fit with Sibelius. The way he phrases melodies can be very, very peculiar, but wonderful to listen to nonetheless. He was famous for his unorthodox way of holding the bow. He sort of looked like he was chopping wood. All in all, a very different sort of player. I don't think his kind of individuality would be as well tolerated in today's world, which is a shame.


July 11, 2007 at 01:48 PM · All I can say is that I'm highly jealous that I'm far too young to have heard any of these great artists play in person . . . Thank you so much for sharing these stories!! Sandy and Joel, you could probably write whole books about the great concerts you've been to.

Just out of curiousity, did either of you see Stern or Menuhin perform live? They're some of my favorites.

Oh, and back to the *topic* of Oistrakh vs. Kogan, I really don't know enough of Kogan's playing to make a judgement between the two. All I've seen are the clips from "The Art of Violin" . . . and while Kogan's playing was beautiful, he seemed just a little uncomfortable - just his facial expressions and such. But really, I can't compare him fairly without hearing more of his work. Oistrakh on the other hand has to be one of my very favorite violinists. Such a gorgeous sound and vibrato! And amazing coordination, beautiful musical lines . . . as you can see I'm a very biased judge. :)

July 11, 2007 at 02:22 PM · I saw Stern a number of times, starting in the early 1940's. I still remember sitting on my dad's lap in Orchestra Hall in Chicago so I could see. I must have been 4 years old, but I still remember bits and pieces of it, including the sound of the violin. And I'm pretty sure he played the Tchaikovsky. I heard him a half dozen times or more through his career.

One memorable concert was in the mid 1960's, when I was in college in Ohio. Our chamber orchestra got invited to see Stern's rehearsal with the Columbus Symphony. We were practically the only ones in the hall, except for Alexander Zakin, Stern's long-time accompanist. He and Stern were talking to each other in Hebrew during the rehearsal. Stern played the Hindemith Concerto, which he was about to premier in New York, and the Mozart 3rd. The Hindemith was an absolutely electrifying performance. On the very last note, after the orchestra stopped, Stern continued and played a few bars of "The Man I Love" by Gershwin. Very funny moment. Then they played right through the Mozart 3rd, which Stern had probably played a zillion times, and he literally hacked his way through it summarily. It was as terrible as the Hindemith was wonderful.

Menuhin I saw twice, both times with the Chicago Symphony and both times playing the Bartok Concerto. Both were compelling and riveting performances, though not perfect. One of those performances is actually available on a CD made for one of the CSO fund-raising marathons a few years ago. Wonderful performance, and when I got the CD I remembered being there because I remembered all the mistakes and little glitches and idiosyncratic things that happen in a live performance. I must tell you, it was a little disconcerting to listen to an "historic" recording and realize that I was actually there. Have I really gotten that old?

:) Sandy

July 11, 2007 at 02:54 PM · In many ways Stern was at his best as a chamber musician. The Stern/Isomin/Rose trio, which I saw back in 1970 and whose CDs I have, may well have been the outstanding trio of the 20th century.

July 11, 2007 at 05:06 PM · i love oistrakh to death. he is my favorite violinist. i dont think ive ever heard a bad recording of his. if u need reference, listen to his vitali chaconne (good luck finding it). its astounding.

as for kogan, i think he played completely differently from oistrakh. where oistrakh was fat and had huge fingers, kogan was skinny and tall with thin fingers. i dont know what sort of correlation exists, but i think that oistrakh played more warmly. although i must say that an amazing recording is kogan playing the khachaturian with the boston symphony. my recording started to make weird noises, so im sad :( (although i do have a good version on my itunes)

July 11, 2007 at 08:28 PM · Someone said, Sander I think:

"He played the Bach C Major Sonata in a manner that was totally "romantic" but still an unbelieveable performance. In the great C Major Fugue, he seemed to play the chords legato; you simply heard everything smooth and connected, and effortless. I have no idea how he did it. And you heard every voice clearly and distinctly."

I can see it! Hear it!

July 11, 2007 at 09:52 PM · Kogan - the Khachaturian VC & the Boston SO and Monteux is definitive as it the Tchaikovsky VC with Silvestri and a French orch on EMI Encore. (Jaw-dropping for both the CDs).

July 11, 2007 at 10:15 PM ·

July 12, 2007 at 02:16 AM · i choose milstein :)

July 12, 2007 at 04:28 AM · Thank you so much Joel for the list! Hmmm, let me see, my hubby's birthday's comming up, wouldn't a bunch of beautiful Kogan CDs be a nice gift for me, I mean, him?

July 13, 2007 at 07:08 AM · Joel, it's so sweet of you to offer me your special Kogan treasures!

July 14, 2007 at 03:09 AM · anyone know any place that sells the leonid kogan edition box set? I know amazon marketplace has one seller (price kinda high), anyone know which stores sell or websites?

July 14, 2007 at 02:05 PM · eh, checked here http://www.hmv.co.jp/search/index.asp?formattype=2&keyword=leonid+kogan

and couldn't find the 10 cd set by brilliant classics... anyone else know where it can be found?

July 14, 2007 at 05:21 PM · Amazon.com has them:


July 14, 2007 at 05:59 PM · I knew that already (look at my previous posts), byut I don't really want to pay that much for them...

July 14, 2007 at 08:20 PM · oops, I missed that. Sorry! Some would say $90 for 10 cds is cheap, but price is a relative thing -- relative to how much we want and value the product, isnt' it?

Edit: please ignore the above!

July 14, 2007 at 07:58 PM · Never tell somebody you don't know that something's not expensive.

July 14, 2007 at 08:19 PM · Very wisely said!

July 14, 2007 at 08:50 PM · What's the difference? Karma will fix it so that he gets a break and becomes a surgeon and he'll be operating on you and get distracted about the time someone hurt his feelings and flat line you.

July 14, 2007 at 11:02 PM · You can buy the Kogan set at www.mdt.co.uk for only GBP19.15.

July 15, 2007 at 02:25 AM · Just as impressive lifes work. David Oistrakh -Violin Concertos- Historic Russian Archive [10-CD Set]



July 15, 2007 at 02:06 AM · ^looks awesome... Are there any regional differences in the CDs? (I like in US, but those are from like England)

July 15, 2007 at 03:26 AM · ^I'm meaning that CDs from a different region that cannot play on US manufactured CD players... Sort of like DVDS...

what does "ex.VAT" mean?

July 20, 2007 at 08:53 PM · people I thought the discussion is about Oistrakh and Kogan

July 21, 2007 at 04:33 PM · All I can say is, listening to Kogan's playing inspired me to continue playing the violin as a hobby after I had finished taking lessons.

July 21, 2007 at 06:16 PM · I like what Boris Schwarz said about these two- "Kogan was more akin to the harsher postwar reality, while Oistrakh represented the prewar nostalgia."

July 23, 2007 at 01:15 PM · That reminds me of what someone else said (don't recall the attribution) - that O. was the last great Russian violinist, and K., the first great Soviet violinist.

Personally, I haven't heard as many of K.'s recordings as O.'s, and they're in different repertoire. So I won't choose between them.

July 23, 2007 at 02:12 PM · Joel wrote, a long time ago:

"As for Grumiaux's Brahms, his temperament is not the best fit. Left missing for me is that sense of fiery power, the gypsy idiom of the finale, and again, the same missing quality in the 2nd movement that I miss in Francescatti's Beethoven."

First, I was really impressed with your essay of July 8th, in which you used critical standards that I can respect in discussing differences between violinists (yeah, I'm thinking of the unpleasant Heifetz argument in the Scottish Fantasy thread).

In regards to the Grumiaux Brahms, I wanted to know if you are talking about the widely available recording with the New Philharmonia and Sir Colin Davis, or the vastly superior, earlier version with the Concertgebouw? This latter version isn't well-known, but I have made it available here:


This recording, to my mind, puts the other version to shame, and was an extraordinary departure for AG in terms of passion and power.

July 28, 2007 at 04:02 PM · Kogan doesn't offer the depth of interpretation that oistrakh does.

July 28, 2007 at 06:47 PM · Definitely Francescatti..oh whoops...

July 30, 2007 at 03:50 AM ·

August 5, 2007 at 08:18 PM · Opinion on Oistrakh and Kogan (including Oistrakh's intonation) to follow but first: for your interest, the recording of the Vitali Chaconne with violinist Jascha Heifetz and R. Elsaser on organ (mentioned by another poster here) is alleged on the album notes to be an arrangement made by Ottorino Respighi but is in fact an adaptation of the far more familiar Charlier version. In preparing for a performance of Respighi's version of the Vitali Chaconne I discovered that Respighi's arrangement was available through the library at the University of Arizona at Tempe and in examining it determined that it is decidedly different, often in a less virtuosic way but more interesting musically,than the Charlier version.

As for Oistrakh and Kogan, not having had the good fortune to hear them live in a major concert hall venue, I can only go by recordings and there again, the recording venue and the engineering may be a factor in conveying the depth of tone and also given the span over which these artists made records and the changes that occured in recording technology during that time. I concur with those who prefer Oistrakh over Kogan in terms of beauty and richness of tone, and agree with the idea that Oistrakh may have given performances closer to the heart from the gut while Kogan may have been more intellectual and refined in interpretation. Something similar was said of the two Russian pianists, Richter and Gilels and it was astutely pointed out that, in their case, Gilels had the advantage of being in Europe some years before Richter travelled there and had acquired a more cosmopolitan approach to his music-making. Perhaps though this is not applicable to Oistrakh and Kogan if they both toured beyond the Soviet Union's borders around the same time and experienced, similarly, other ideas from Western Europe affecting their music-making. Nevertheless, there is Oistrakh's wise and deftly handled way of slowing down a trill as he approached the end of a note requiring one, and the care with which his editions of Mozart concerti have been edited leading me to believe he is no less an intellectual in interpretation than Kogan was.

As to the charge that there is evidence of Oistrakh playing out of tune, it can, unfortunately, be found on the video of him playing the Kreisler-Tartini Variations on a Theme of Corelli where one of the octaves in the third variation is missed. If this is his only crime, we should all be so lucky! Heifetz fumbles a passage in the first movement of the Tchaikovsky concerto in his collaboration on that with Barbirolli conducting, and goodness knows there are countless other examples of great masters not quite playing with divine perfection.I should only have their problems, lol.

A comparison has not been made with Oistrakh and Milstein which may at least deserve a brief introductory mention here. Both happened to have the same teacher at one point, Stoliarsky, the heir apparent to the Russian school of violin playing inherited from Hungarian transplant Leopold Auer, teacher of Heifetz, Elman, and others, yet it is generally agreed that Milstein's tone was not as deep as Oistrakh's. In observing the two artists on video, there is a difference in the manner in which they hold the bow and keep their posture in relation to the violin, Milstein having a more pronated bow arm and a sometimes downward hold of the violin, but both played with a great naturalness and ease and with impeccable intonation and clarity that the issue of whose tone was richer matters little. A case might be made for the thickness of the finger pads affecting richness of tone, the particular strings used on the violin, and the violin itself, and the bow. Artists have different choices in the sounds they are looking for with which to create music and some of this may also be influenced by the sound of the language they speak- their mother tongue. Though somewhat of a stereotype, people expect Russian violinists to perform with a big sound and do not expect this of French violinists - but there is always the exception to the rule- Gidon Kremer, a very interesting musician, who comes out of the Russian school of violin playing having studied with Oistrakh but does not have that rich glow to his tone compared with his teacher and Augustin Dumay, violinist, whose tone is incredibly voluminous, but comes out of the French school of violin playing.

In sum, the factors that make a violinist great are many and varied and, being human, cannot be perfectly modulated at all times on all occasions. Suffice to say, we are blessed with a treasure of great playing from Oistrakh and Kogan and so many others that we have no shortage of enjoyment and satisfaction from these masters of the bow and I can only hope that more and more people in seeing the comments everyone has posted here will be excited to do their own explorations and discover the inestimable riches therein.

September 24, 2013 at 08:07 PM · Wow !!!

It's been over 6 years since this discussion ended, and it's been quite an experience re-reading it after all these years. I must say that I haven't changed my opinions one iota. Maybe I'm getting set in my ways. But to me, this is bringing the past to life.

Bravo Oistrakh and Kogan (and Heifetz and Menuhin and Stern and......, et.al.)



September 24, 2013 at 09:43 PM · I will agree with Sander, they are both great and it's hard to tell...

As any violinists, both had strenghs and weaknesses and were "slaves" of their situation.

By this, I mean : do not expect a bear or elephant to do ballet at the highest level and do not expect a greyhound or antilope to pull a horse sleigh full of people in 2 metres of freezing snow...

But as the super trained violinists they were, they could overcome their weaknesses in an almost perfect manner which is pretty amazing. But in a small % of time, one could have a glimpse at their shortcomming (as with every violin master...)

I am personally a sound maniac who seeks always the better sounding violinists to my ears. I prefer to be deeply moved by a phenomenal interpretation (voice) than impressed by a note perfect virtuoso with a slighter less nice/rich tone.

I never heard "overall" and in as many situations a better sounding, warm, powerful, energic, convincing and singing tone as Oistrakh's. It was like his signature on almost every of his recordings (even the very badly recorded!). I could only imagine what he could have sounded like live...

On this matter, I would choose Oistrakh but Kogan was so amazing in his own right that I would say it's highly subjective to each listener...


September 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM · I have to shock you all and indeed I hate to admit it, but this Discussion is the first time I've ever heard of Leonid Kogan! But then, as Vladimir Putin has pointed out, I live on an insignificant island (We used to be Great Britain, but we've legislated our greatness away).

September 25, 2013 at 04:06 AM · I keep trying to find more information about Kogan, but the internet seems to like to leave me hanging. I just can't get enough of how clean and powerful his playing is. It is so lyrical and full of emotion and depth.

What I'm curious about is where the difference in their tones comes from. Kogan has this intense laser beam, completely focused and pure, while Oistrakh has this floodlight tone, warm and more spread out. Grumiaux has a tone more akin to Oistrakh. I like Oistrakh very consistently, but he is usually not my absolute favorite performer of a given piece (More like #2 or 3 for most things), while Kogan often is #1.

September 25, 2013 at 04:02 PM · Oistrakh and Grumiaux were great friends and Grumiaux influenced Oistrakh a bit more on the Franco-Belgian side... Many Oistrakh students sound that way too... Lidia Mordkovich (one of his pupils) is strikingly similar to his sound and she was his teaching assistant at a very young age...

Like we say in french "qui se ressemble s'assemble" translated by "who is similar sticks together"!

Though it is not always the case as someone mentioned here with Kremer's example...

September 25, 2013 at 10:20 PM · Oh my word, John. I don't consider myself a classical music fan, being a listener to many genres, and I do agree with you [and unfortunately, with Putin's aide, too] that we live on an insignificant island but hey, this guy is amazing! How unusual for you to have missed him! Can't pick one or the other, though. What was the point of the [original] question, hmm, one wonders.

September 26, 2013 at 12:34 AM · Anne-Marie, I think the English equivalent of is "Birds of a feather stick together".

Thessa, I did listen to Radio 3's "Building a Library" and remember Sibelius recordings being compared, and other solo violin works, and I don't remember mentions of Kogan.

As regards the original question, I imagine it might come from the same mindset that invented piano duels (Liszt was not interested in duelling with either Chopin or the retiring Alkan. He had too much regard for the former as a musician and the latter as both musician and player to do so {I read "Alkan is said to have been the only pianist in whose presence even Liszt felt nervous; and Vincent d’Indy, who heard him play near the end of his life, maintained that he surpassed Liszt in interpretative powers."}. Chopin, for his part, wrote “. . . at this moment Liszt is playing my études, and transporting me outside of my respectable thoughts. I should like to steal from him the way to play my own études.”).

Why am I talking pianists on violin.com???

I think music therapists tend to go for music of many genres - At least, that's the impression I got from Rachel Verney's demonstration films.

September 27, 2013 at 07:20 PM · They are both fantastic. I often prefer Kogan because his interpretations can be almost stark but also very expressive which I find exciting. Oistrakh though has this great nobility...

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