David Oistrakh (1908 – 1974), one of the most famous violin virtuosos of the last century, made many recordings and was the dedicatee of numerous works for violin. Among the many violin virtuosi of the younger generation whom he inspired is Lydia Mordkovitch, one of his star pupils. In this CD she pays tribute to her great teacher.
For Chandos Lydia Mordkovitch has recorded many works famously associated with Oistrakh, including violin concertos by Khachaturian and Shostakovich, all of which were written for him. Her recording of Shostakovich’s two concertos won a Gramophone Award in 1990. Indeed, her style of playing has many of the hall marks of Oistrakh’s: incredible virtuosity, rich colouring, and above all a passion which is totally Russian in spirit.
In this collection Lydia Mordkovitch brings together pieces with which Oistrakh was associated. The programme ranges widely, from newly recorded music by Pietro Locatelli to a classic version of Chausson’s gorgeous Poème. Of course, Shostakovich is represented – a composer very closely associated with Oistrakh – Lydia Mordkovitch giving his Violin Sonata a superbly nuanced performance, plumbing real depths of feeling without any sentimentality. Rachmaninov has to be included too and Daises is a particularly lovely piece of music. Oistrakh gave sparkling performances of the technically challenging music of Ysaÿe, and Lydia Mordkovitch here proves that she can meet the challenges with equal brilliance.