GThe recording is now sixty years old: in February 1961, Igor Oistrakh played Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 3 No. 3, at Wembley Town Hall, together with his father David, who also conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London 8 a. Deutsche Grammophon released the recording under the catalog heading “Music in the European Tradition”. At that time it was part of the core of the occidental canon. If you listen to them today, you are still enchanted by the intimate tone of the violinists, by a sound that has moved into the timeless, which seems to know nothing of historicization and, with its assertion of eternal present, fits so wonderfully to the art-historical film essay about Venice that was created at the same time that James Ivory had shot at the end of his studies. And yet the two violinists seem to want to outdo each other as to who can play the faster, more exciting trills. They sound as fresh and crisp as sweet cherries in June. The quality level was most likely defined by the son.
Igor Oistrach, born on April 27, 1931 in Odessa, was always in the shadow of his father. But where the father knew how to win over the audience with warmth and a big tone, almost like a preacher, the son remained an aristocrat of melancholy virtuosity with dazzlingly light spring-bow effects, sharply cut, but casually presented ornaments, ideal for music that deals with Henryk Wieniawski and Camille Saint-Saëns know how to protect subtle elegance from the poses of pathos. David was Igor’s first teacher; He has performed with him again and again since 1947, then as in 1974, the year his father died, with the double concerto in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, which in both interpretation embodies the epitome of cosmic beauty for many listeners to this day.
When asked about his father, the son responded with diplomatic modesty in interviews. Occasionally he let it be known that he would not have liked to become a violinist, but rather a pianist. As in his game, there was in these answers the feather-light melancholy of a prince who knows that the dynasty counts more than one’s own inclination. According to the Russian news agency TASS, Igor Oistrakh died on August 14th in Moscow at the age of ninety. The family was not able to inform the public earlier. Angelica Moissejewa took over this work. She runs a Russian charity fund. His name: David Oistrach.