One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041 [15:23]
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV1042 [19:21]
Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV1043 [16:52]
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV1049 [17:52]
David Oistrakh (violin)
Igor Oistrakh (violin: double)
Vienna Philharmonic (members)/David Oistrakh (1, 2)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Eugene Goossens (double)
Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Rudolf Barshai (Brandenburg)
Georg Fischer (1); George Malcolm (2) (harpsichord); Alexander Korneyev; Naum Zeidel (flute - Brandenburg)
rec. Moscow, 1957 (Brandenburg); DGG, 1962 (Concertos)
ALTO ALC1399 [68:51]

These are, as the label says, "Legendary Recordings". They seem to have been in my consciousness for as long as I have been drawn into the classical music world as a listener ... and that was about ten years after they had been recorded.

Nowadays, despite their long-held elite status they speak of a voluptuously romanticised approach. Their voice, in a cooler world that has elevated 18th century authenticity and historically informed performance practice, looks forward to Brahms and Beethoven. Listen, for example, to the irresistible hyper-romantic middle movements of BWV1042 and BWV1043. The orchestra assumes a "full fat" role and is not merely big but also lavish.

The slow movement of BWV1041 is a delight and its finale looks forward to Mozart's K364 Sinfonia Concertante. The rush of adrenaline in Oistrakh's BWV1042 brooks no denial and so it continues. There is nothing bloodless about this music-making.

The only deficit lies with the hint of harshness to the treble edge, especially at fortissimo, and the suggestion of mechanical regularity in the finale of BWV1042.

The Double Violin Concerto has the Oistrakhs at full stretch technically and artistically. The recording is also an example of Goossens at his inspired and inspiring best even in old age. He had left Sydney five years previously under a louring cloud but in this Bach he played out his heart with the RPO and the two lavishly gifted Oistrakhs - an elite gathering. Interestingly, the recording here is slightly more distant and not as treble-vulcanised in this Concerto for Two Violins in D minor as that accorded to the two solo concertos.

All three of the DGG recordings continue to assert an uncontentiously honoured place in the DG catalogue in the form of an Originals disc and in various DG-Universal boxed sets.

The playing time of the disc is, to advantage, supplemented by a Moscow/Barshai Brandenburg No. 4, BWV1049. The players of the graciously breathy flutter-tongued flutes are identified. It's a very atmospheric acoustic. Aside from some rigidity and congestion from the orchestral sound the effect is lively and well attuned to Bach's sprightly writing to which the musicians pay delightful court. If you are looking for more of the same then it looks as if you should go to Melodiya.

The three-sheet fold-out liner essay has been newly provided by Peter Avis and is well worth a read. Alto have done well here in every respect.

Rob Barnett



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
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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