RIP Igor Oistrakh
Reading of Igor Oistrakh's death and thinking I needed to be reminded of his art I discovered this
Wonderful playing, but whose playing..?
Maybe if I switched to a steel A I could sound like him.
King David and Prince Igor.
Perhaps the most singular thing that separates a world class legend, like Igor Oistrakh, from us violin hacks, is the astounding bow technique. The effortless running staccato, the multiple, smooth speed changes in a single stroke, the immaculate tone from the frog to the very tip.
His recordings with his father of Mozart's various pieces for violin and viola (K.423, 424 and the Sinfonia Concertante) are wonderful and, for me, represent the apex of this repertoire.
One of my teachers had once been to Moscow on a fellowship to study with him for a year. According to her, it was some of his insight (remembered and translated) that helped her cure some of my worst bowing flaws. I don't know if it was because of him, but I did win the college's concerto competition that year.
If you watch and listen to the end of my youtube link you'll realise you're watching and listening to two different performances, presumably both by Prince Igor?
I remember a video of him playing the Recitativo and Scherzo. He was incredibly fast on the scherzo part. Very impressive.
Another terrible loss for the worldwide violin community. Thanks to the incredible world-wide recording industry and its technology, Igor Oistrakh will be remembered as being in the same exalted category as his father - one of a kind.
My reaction was the same as Paul N's. Maybe we're just rubes, or maybe not, but nowadays there is no shortage of players who can blitz the Scherzo. Probably it was very difficult to emerge from under his father's enormous technical and musical penumbra. Likely having King David for his father was more helpful than not, but I can see it creating kind of a glass ceiling too. When your dad is the best violinist ever, or certainly one of the top ten, that creates an enormous burden of expectation. I sometimes wonder whether the same effect drove Dmitry Sitkovetsky into mostly a conducting career.
Oh... I just realized we are talking about Igor, not David Oistrakh (his father). Jesus...
There was more than one other Mozart. Wolfgang's older sister, Maria Anna, was also very talented. When she was young her father took her on the road to perform. But as she got older, she was not allowed to perform in public because she was a female.
Amrita thank you for sharing that background. Very interesting and important that we recognize these things.
Some time ago, I came across a Deutsche Grammophon 2-CD set of David Oistrakh playing many of the most popular concertos: Bach, Tchaikovsky, etc. He played the Bach double with Igor, so I became aware he had a son.