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Robert Maxham
Fanfare, July 2009

Yehudi Menuhin had earlier played Mozart’s Third and Fourth Concertos, and Oistrakh followed with the Fifth. He had already recorded it with Kondrashin in 1947 and with Konwitschny in 1954. He also played the Concerto with the New York Philharmonic under Mitropoulos when he visited the United States in 1956. If this live performance in Vienna represents Oistrakh as edgier than he usually sounds, his reading hardly lacks sensitivity or his identifiable tonal intensity. Neither the first movement and its cadenza nor the second movement takes any prisoners: they’re straightforward and even matter-of-fact, yet without giving an impression that the soloist remained aloof from either the music or the audience. And he introduced a special poignancy into the second movement’s middle section—a poignancy enhanced by the sumptuous, detailed orchestral accompaniment. He’s elegant in the movement proper and piquantly energetic in the finale’s Turkish episode. © 2009 Fanfare Read complete review

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