One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No.3 in G major K216 (1775) [23.14]
Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major K364 (1779) * [30.41]
David Oistrakh (violin)
Rudolf Barshai (viola)*
Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Rudolf Barshai
Recorded in Moscow 1959 (No.3) and 1960
AULOS MUSIC AMC2-028 [54.41]


Aulos are busy reactivating the Melodiya back catalogue with the advantage that they have been granted use of the original tapes. They invariably employ DSD (Direct Stream Digital) in remastering. So far as fiddle fanciers go the releases have centred on Kremer and Oistrakh, though the exciting latest development concerns "cult" player Yulian Sitkovetsky, the first release of whose discs is already available and will be reviewed by me soon.

Meanwhile you can’t go too far wrong with Oistrakh and Mozart. True, this is big-boned, dyed in the wool Mozart, 1959-60 style. Tempi are relaxed, textures quite heavy and the ethos throughout is masculine and robust. Lightness and subtle shading are there – but the prevailing spirit is of strong-limbed engagement. The G major was always one of Oistrakh’s best pieces of Mozart playing. Attractive and lyric he also contributes his own, rather good, cadenzas. There are little smudges of portamenti in the second movement, which is characteristically expressive and full of the artist’s noble warmth, and a certain patrician elegance and spirit of romance enlivens and modifies the Rondo finale. Nothing is hurried yet nothing sounds slack; maybe the orchestral basses are a touch heavy but nothing too serious.

The Sinfonia Concertante opens at a real maestoso-qualified Allegro. Here the pizzicati sound rather close to the microphones and the horn can be rather over prominent. Directed from the viola by Barshai the Mannheim crescendo never quite makes its full impact and Barshai’s viola playing can be rather too insistently vibrated from time to time. Once again, though, there’s real affection in the Andante; it’s sweet rather than conversational though ideally it could be more so. The finale is nicely buoyant though once again I find something of a dichotomy in terms of tonal palette between the two soloists; Barshai does tend to impart a slightly tense nasality to their exchanges and dialogue.

As usual with this series the notes are pretty Spartan and mostly concern the remastering process. Clearly there are other Mozart Oistrakh discs from which to choose but the remastering has been finely judged and the performances are persuasive and warm of heart.

Jonathan Woolf

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.