Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
on 24 September 2015
Allow me to disagree a bit with all the others reviews. Not about the quality of the music, Oistrakh deserves 6 stars. My gripes are twofold.
1) This is just another one of these quickly packaged reissues, with no editorial content, so presentation effort, no useful information whatsoever. Of course you're going to tell me "what did you expect at the price"? Except in this day and age, at that very same price per CD, there are some fantastic box sets out there in every respect.
2) The sound. Where everybody here celebrates how good this sounds, I'm left scratching my head. What I hear is, maybe not the worst, but definitely not the best of what Redbook technology has to offer. The sound is greyish and suffers from a slight but constant digititis. It's like this whole set was mastered in the mid-nineties. Interestingly, I get the same dull, uninspiring sound from a similarly poor Celibidache box... also a Warner offering. Once again, comparison with recent boxes like Deccas comes to mind. This is simply not in the same league. Digital has come a long way but apparently, folks at Warner don't know this. Bear in mind the age of the original recordings is irrelevant. I'm talking about the low quality of the transfers here. It's not unlistenable, but it's certainly not gorgeous or high-end mastering.
I realize I'm a minority here so make what you will of my review. I played three CDs from this set and never opened it again. Maybe I got unlucky and all the others I haven't played sound gorgeous.
I love Oistrakh, probably like you if you're reading this review. If you can overcome the two caveats above then you won't be disappointed. As far as I'm concerned, I'm now avoiding budget boxes from Warner.
I would give this box 2,5 stars out of 5. It's neither good nor bad. It doesn't showcase Oistrakh at his best by failing to pass on his gorgeous tone.