• Marina Akimova

Sinfonia Concertante, Oistrakh, Barshai

I've remembered this tape since I was seven years old. Of course, when I was a kid, I took it all on faith without thinking - it seemed to me that everybody adult could do it and I could, I just had to grow up. Now, forty years later, I understand how incredible Oistrakh plays here. It's as if without strings, without rosin, without bow hair and bow stick, without any resistance of the rigid matter. The sharp needles of accents, the gentle tremors of the dandy trills, as if you were touched by the palm of a hand, the jingling spiccato without a single scramble, as if a note emerges from the air, the perfect duet with Barshay (which was also taken for granted as a child, and only now do I understand what is the ideal identity of the articulation, the perfect compatibility of attacks and fading - and there are places where you can distinguish how even the vibrations of both coincide). And Barshai without any violism, without this monotonous and as if all the time not really in tune

whining - he is muscular, alerty, also an angel, or almost. It is considered, by the way, that in the Concertanta a violist, if he is good, always overplays a violinist, because the viola lines are almost always after the violins and sound more beautiful. So here I don't know who's overplayed whom and if he's overplayed - I'm not sure.

And the second mvt, oh, this second mvt. It seems to be the first music I've ever cried over in my life. And if now I perceive intonation in the sharpest way, the very concept of intonation as a conjugation of notes, if I'm bribed and touched like nothing else, when all the notes are different and express themselves differently, when there's an endless variety of gravitations between them - it's because then, in my childhood, I was like a desert water absorbing this fabulous playing.

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5 октября 1868

Из старенького. Странное место все-таки Петербург. Там невозможно просто жить под небом: оно как-то так смотрит на тебя - или, скорее, не смотрит - что ты чувствуешь: пока не найдешь себя под ним, не