The Strad Issue: January 2010
Musicians: Lydia Mordkovitch (violin) Nicholas Walker, Marina Gusak-Grin, Clifford Benson, James Kirby (piano)
Composer: Locatelli, Ysaÿe, Chausson, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff

‘Lydia Mordkovitch pays tribute to David Oistrakh’ has given Chandos the opportunity to recycle recordings made by the violinist since arriving in Britain in 1980. A student in Oistrakh’s class for two years in her early-twenties, Mordkovich emerged a very different personality from her mentor: her playing is very fiery and shows a freedom of self-expression that Oistrakh would never have allowed himself.

The 14 tracks cover 22 years, beginning with an exciting account of the Ysaÿe Sonata that held pride of place in the catalogue in the 1980s. Then, by way of a sumptuous Chausson Poème, we come up-to-date with two newly recorded Locatelli works where intonation is a little wayward.

Mordkovich is her most persuasive in the Shostakovich Sonata. A little warmer than in Oistrakh’s hands, it is a compelling, unsentimental and deeply intense performance, with Clifford Benson as the potent partner. A well-filled disc of pleasing sound quality.