On Oct 2, 4:07 pm, basnperson <abachr...
> Lets comment on 2 great violinists, so different from each other in
> personality, interpretation, etc. ....
> A few days ago, my local classical station broadcast Oistrakh-
> Klemperer studio version of the Brahms VC. I tuned in early in the
> first movt. had no idea who was playing. It was obvious that this was
> top of line playing, absolutely perfect intonation, tone always
> clear. By the end of the 2nd movt I was losing interest and listened
> to the end mainly because i wanted to know who the soloist was. There
> seemed to be some lack of emotional involvement..... there was no real
> passion to the playing. But it was so assured and clean.....
> Last nite a friend infomed me that mediciTV was offering the entire
> video of the Brahms VC with Vengerov. He has been absent from the
> concert stage for a while and I was curious to hear what his playing
> was like after this long layoff.
> The contrast in playing between these 2 musicians is striking........
> There is an intensity and passion in V.s playing that is mostly
> missing from Oistrakh. V. does not have the immaculate technique of
> Oistrakh, there were quite a few minor 'mishaps' and V. does not play
> with the ease that was Oistrakh's. But the conception was so dramatic
> that one ignores little and not so little slips.. like one listens to
> Schanbel or Kempff.
My first thought was to remind you that it is always misleading to
compare live to studio. Vengerov's drama is a typical advantage of
live performances, and I would assume Oistrakh would benefit similarly
in front of an audience.
But then I did as you did, and I listened to one right after the
other, and then again in spots, and came to the opposite conclusion.
In this Verbier performance Vengerov is a passionate, capable player.
I don't think he takes anything for granted. He gives 100 percent (as
he did in his excellent, early recording of the Brahms on Teldec). Van
Zweden makes some sparks fly; the young orchestra is obviously digging
in as much as possible. But musically--at least this time around--I
don't think he's in Oistrakh's league.
Not only is Oistrakh (with Klemperer on EMI) giving every note and
phrase full consideration, but he's inventing distinctive, flexible
ways to phrase and color the music, bending it to his will in an oh so
subtle patrician manner that it basically becomes his own to a degree
that Vengerov can only approximate in a very generalized way. Oistrakh
is the very opposite of emotional disengagement--however, his emotion
is channeled, intensified by an endlessly varied musical intelligence.
He smolders, and the heat lingers--a perfect match for Klemperer's
similar approach--while Vengerov flames spectacularly (especially if
you watch, which is always a bad idea--close your eyes!) without
consuming anything substantial.
Vengerov has the better oboist, better winds overall--that counts for
a lot here--and a fine accompanying conductor with some ideas of his
own. Together they make a top-notch concert. But ultimately the
Oistrakh with Klemperer is a classic for good reason. Nothing is
stinted, everything speaks eloquently, the hues are vivid in the usual
Klemperer manner; I find myself riveted by the mastery and emotion of
a great pairing like this (which isn't to say I haven't admired other
Oistrakh performances as well, with different conductors).