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A famous motto of Johannes Brahms was
"If we cannot compose as beautifully as Mozart and Haydn, let us at least
try to compose as purely." Brahms was born in
Hamburg, the son of a double bass player. In his early years, Johannes was
known for playing in dives and bordellos. Brahms later acknowledged that
this early contact with the opposite sex contributed to his ultimately remaining
a lifelong bachelor. He most admired composers of baroque and classical
epochs. In many respects, Brahms brings the
classical-romantic continuum to an end. He felt no kinship to "the
music of the future", that was the mantle of Wagner and Liszt. Brahms
synthesized the musical language of romanticism with classical forms and Baroque
In the genre of concerto, Brahms followed the classical
ideas of dialogue and equality between soloists and orchestra. This was
opposite to 'romantic' concertos, where virtuoso soloists overwhelmed the
orchestra, turning it into banal accompaniment. In the summer of 1878,
while vacationing in Austria, Brahms began a violin concerto for his colleague,
Joachim. The two men had performed together for decades, and Brahms
the impressive extent of the violinist's talent. Joachim, being a composer
engaged in editing the violin part of Brahms' concerto for about a year.
Critics called this
composition "a concerto against the violin"; and many violinists,
including Sarasate, refused to play it. The concerto was premiered in
Born in Nelahozeves on September 8,
1841, Antonin Dvorak was most certainly the greatest of the Czech
composers. He came from an environment of farmers and minor tradesmen.
His way up was hard - working as a private music teacher, church organist,
violinist at a local theatre; and at the same time, he studied composition with
Bedrich Smetana. Government subsidies helped him keep body and soul
together and feed his family. Such was the life of the greatest Czech
composer - until he met Johannes Brahms.
Brahms decided to help Dvorak by introducing him to his publisher, Simrock, who
published Dvorak's Slavonic Dances, and made him a celebrity overnight... Sounds
like a Hollywood story.... At that time, Dvorak was 37 years old.
In his compositions, Dvorak is known for fresh, lilting
melodies, archaic harmonic modes, strange modulations and his skill at adapting
folk tunes. He composed in almost all genres. Despite his
fascination with opera, he lacked a natural instinct for drama. The best
artistic results were achieved in his instrumental music.
The history of performing art knows
many artists who enjoy great popularity among their
contemporaries, the musicians that made valuable contributions to the
development of performance technique. There are just a few artists whose
creative activity brought a new aesthetic horizon in musical culture in general.
David Oistrakh (1908 - 1974) was that kind of musician. The
violinist's unique gift was embodied in his early musical maturity - in the
vastness of his repertoire, in the range of thoughts and emotions made tangible
through his violin, and in guest tours that lasted for about fifty years.
The 20th century will enter into the history of the violin performing art as the
epoch of David Oistrakh. His traditions go on in the creative activity of
his best pupils.
Upon graduating from the Moscow Conservatory in 1936, Kirill
(1914 - 1981) conducted opera performances in the Moscow and Leningrad theatres,
from 1943 - in the USSR Bolshoi Theatre. Kondrashin systematically
conducted the leading
symphony orchestras of the Soviet Union, dedicating his life entirely to concert
vast and versatile repertoire, marked by artistic individuality, and richness of
musical interpretation brought Kirill Kondrashin wide international acclaim.
©2003 Evgeni Kostitsyn
Concerto for violin and orchestra in d major
1. Allegro non troppo
3. Allegro giocoso ma non troppo vivace 7:40
Concerto for violin and orchestra in a minor
4. Allegro non troppo
5. Adagio ma non troppo
6. Finale. Allegro giocoso ma non troppo 9:30
Total Time - 70:49
David Oistrakh, violin
USSR Radio Large Symphony Orchestra
Kirill Kondrashin, conductor
cover painting "Cow and Violin" by Malevich
Recorded in 1951. Recording was restored in 1990.
Recording Engineer - Badeyan
Design by Evgeni Kostitsyn