David Oistrakh: Artist of the People? (1999)

Genres - Music  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Instrumental Music, Music History  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This is the story of David Oistrakh, the Russian violinist referred to as "King David" in his homeland. His powerful tone, precise technique, and highly emotional style made him a worldwide legend, influencing an entire generation of players. Oistrakh, who remained in Russia his entire life (1908-1974) despite persecution for being Jewish, taught at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, and performed as a solo artist from age 20 until his death. A specialist in late Classical and Romantic works, his recordings of many Romantic masterworks, especially the Brahms Violin Concerto, are considered to be without peer. The Brahms Violin Concerto and excerpts from other works are featured in the film. There are also interviews with Oistrakh's lifelong friends and fellow musicians: Yehudi Menuhin speaks on what made Oistrakh a great violinist; Mistislav Rostropovitch talks of Oistrakh's relationship with the Soviet regime; Gidon Kremer recalls Oistrakh as a teacher; Gennady Rozhdestvensky , his conductor, recalls Oistrakh the performer; and son Igor Oistrakh recalls his father as a family man and musician. This film is an inspiring look at a man whose stated goal as an artist was to bring the rich world of classical violin music to everyday people.

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Keywords

career-retrospective, classical-music, father, Jewish, music-teacher, musician, reminiscence, Russian [nationality], violinist