Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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Ohms, Elisabeth

(b Arnhem, 17 May 1888; d Marquartstein, 16 Oct 1974). Dutch soprano. After study in Amsterdam and Frankfurt, she made her début at Mainz in 1921, and in 1923 joined the Staatsoper in Munich, where she spent the greater part of her career; she was appointed Kammersängerin, and married the Munich stage designer Leo Pasetti. Her many notable performances as Brünnhilde and Isolde during the Munich summer festivals made her name familiar to a wider public, and she began to make guest appearances elsewhere, notably at La Scala, in 1927 and 1928, under Toscanini in Fidelio and Parsifal, at Bayreuth in 1931 in Parsifal (again with Toscanini), and at Covent Garden during three seasons in Wagnerian roles and as Strauss’s Marschallin. At the Metropolitan during three consecutive seasons (from January 1930) she appeared in all the heavier Wagner roles. In Munich her non-Wagnerian parts, besides those mentioned, included Turandot and Strauss’s Helena of Troy. Her dark-coloured, heroic soprano is well represented, among her few recordings, by a majestic ‘Ozean, du Ungeheuer’ from Weber’s Oberon.


Ohren, Jacob.

See Ørn, Jacob.

Oiseau-Lyre, L'.

French/British music publisher and record company. It was named after the rare Australian lyrebird (menura superba or novaehollandiae) and founded in 1932 as Les Editions de l'Oiseau-Lyre (‘The Lyrebird Press’) in Paris by Louise B.M. Dyer, née Smith (1884–1962), an Australian patron of the arts. Her aims were to make available early music that had never been printed in a good modern edition, and to support contemporary composers (Auric, Canteloube, Ibert, d'Indy, Milhaud, Roussel, Sauguet, Britten, Holst and the Australians Peggy Glanville-Hicks and Margaret Sutherland, among others) by commissioning and publishing their works. Her first project was the publication (1932–3) of the complete works of François Couperin to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the composer's death. The 12-volume limited edition that resulted epitomized the quality of subsequent publications in its rigorous scholarship, elegant engraving and modish book design.

After the death of her first husband, Louise Dyer married Joseph (‘Jeff’) B. Hanson (1910–71) in 1938. Over nearly 25 years they produced a remarkable catalogue of fine editions and scholarly books. The firm's headquarters moved to Monaco in 1947; after Dyer's death the firm was run by Hanson. From 1971 to 1996, the publishing venture of L'Oiseau-Lyre was run by Hanson's second wife, Margarita Hanson, née Menendez, who undertook a series of reprints and revisions of existing editions, notably the Couperin complete works. A series entitled Magnus Liber Organi was begun in 1993 with a plan to include seven volumes. In 1979 L'Oiseau-Lyre entered into an agreement with the University of Melbourne whereby regular income from funds bequeathed to the university by Dyer and J.B. Hanson would support publication costs until 2005.

With music ranging from the 13th century to the 20th, L‘Oiseau-Lyre's catalogue has always placed special emphasis on French music, especially the 17th- and 18th-century repertory. Publications are divided between scholarly series and performing editions. The firm's most significant undertaking has been the numbered, limited edition Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century (25 vols., 1956–92)

The first recordings produced by Editions de l'Oiseau-Lyre appeared in 1939. In 1953 distribution of L'Oiseau-Lyre recordings was undertaken by Decca. The company was the first to record several notable artists, among them Janet Baker, Alfred Deller and Colin Davis; Joan Sutherland also made her first recording (of 18th-century arias) with L'Oiseau-Lyre in Paris in 1959, released by Decca only in 1981. The recording business was continued by Hanson after Dyer's death, and sold to Decca in 1970.

Under the direction of Raymond Ware, the label issued recordings of music by contemporary composers, notably Maxwell Davies, Henze and Shostakovich, as well as major Purcell stage works and the first recordings by the Academy of Ancient Music directed by Christopher Hogwood. In 1974 L'Oiseau-Lyre embarked on the pioneering Florilegium series (conceived by Christopher Hogwood and the producer Peter Wadland) with music from the Middle Ages to the Romantic period played on period instruments. Recordings issued over the next 21 years included a large Baroque repertory (including Bach concertos and operas and oratorios by Handel), the complete symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven and many by Haydn played by the Academy of Ancient Music under Hogwood, the complete Beethoven piano sonatas played by Malcolm Binns, Mozart's Da Ponte operas from Drottningholm conducted by Arnold Östman, choral recordings by the Choir of Christ Church, Oxford, under Simon Preston, and much-admired discs of English and Italian Renaissance music by Anthony Rooley and the Consort of Musicke, featuring Emma Kirkby. Artists appearing on the label also included Philip Pickett and the New London Consort, Catherine Bott, the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, Christophe Coin and Christophe Rousset (with solo harpsichord albums and his own orchestra, Les Talens Lyriques, in complete opera recordings of works by Mondonville, Handel, Traetta etc.). (J. Davidson: Lyrebird Rising: Louise Hanson-Dyer of L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1884–1962, Melbourne, 1994)


Oistrakh, David (Fyodorovich)

(b Odessa, 17/30 Sept 1908; d Amsterdam, 24 Oct 1974). Ukrainian violinist. He studied with Pyotr Stolyarsky from the age of five until his graduation (playing both violin and viola) from the Odessa State Conservatory in 1926. (In 1914 he and Nathan Milstein appeared on the same student programme.) While still a student, Oistrakh played with the Odessa SO, as both soloist and leader. In 1927 Glazunov invited him to play his concerto under him in Kiev.

Oistrakh made his début in Leningrad in 1928, and in Moscow the following year. In 1928 he moved to Moscow, and there began a period of intense artistic growth. During the 1930s he won first prizes in the Ukrainian Contest (1930) and the All-Soviet Contest (1935); second prize in the Wieniawski Contest (1935; the first prize was won by Ginette Neveu); and first prize in the Concours Eugène Ysaÿe in Brussels in 1937. This was the beginning of his international career; but during the war he played at the front, in besieged Leningrad, in hospitals and factories. The performance of Bach’s Double Concerto in 1945 in Moscow with Menuhin (the first foreign artist to visit the Soviet Union after the war) was memorable. In 1946–7 Oistrakh gave a cycle of five programmes, ‘The Development of the Violin Concerto’, which included the concertos of Sibelius, Elgar and Walton, as well as Khachaturian’s, dedicated to him. At his New York début in 1955 he introduced Shostakovich’s First Concerto, written for him.

Oistrakh was counted among the greatest violinists of his day, and the most characteristic representative of the Russian school. This is remarkable since his training took place in Odessa, without contact with the Auer school. However, while his early style stressed elegance, he developed his monumental style during his Moscow years. His technical mastery was complete, his tone warm and powerful, and his approach a perfect fusion of virtuosity and musicianship. His willingness to perform new music was notable and many Soviet composers dedicated works to him (Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Myaskovsky, Khachaturian, Rakov, Weinberg). Oistrakh also played sonatas with Lev Oborin and trios with Oborin and Knushevitsky, and was known as a gifted conductor.

In 1934 he was appointed to the Moscow Conservatory; among his students were his son Igor' and Valery Klimov. He was named People’s Artist of the USSR in 1954 and received the Lenin Prize in 1960; he was also honoured by the Royal Academy of Music, London, and the Conservatorio di S Cecilia, Rome. He edited standard violin works and arranged Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata with the composer’s approval. His hobby was chess, and in 1937 he played a match against Prokofiev.




I. Yampol'sky: David Oystrakh (Moscow, 1964, enlarged 2/1968)

M.A. Grinberg, ed.: David Oystrakh (Moscow, 1963)

L.N. Raaben: Zhizn' zamechatel'nïkh skripachey [The lives of famous violinists] (Leningrad, 1967)

J.W. Hartnack: Grosse Geiger unserer Zeit (Munich, 1967, 4/1993)

E. Richter and E. Krause: David Oistrach: ein Arbeitsporträt (Berlin, 1973) [incl. discography]

J. Creighton: Discopaedia of the Violin, 1889–1971 (Toronto, 1974)

V.A. Yuzefovich, ed.: David Oistrach: Gespräche mit Igor Oistrach (Stuttgart, 1977; Eng. trans., 1979; Russ. orig., 1978, 2/1985) [incl. discography]

V. Grigor'yev, ed.: D.F. Oystrakh: vospominaniya, stat'i, interv'yu, pis'ma [Reminiscences, articles, interviews, letters] (Moscow, 1978)

Y. Soroker: David Oistrakh (Jerusalem, 1982)

T. Potter: ‘David Oistrakh: Heart of the Matter’, The Strad, xcv (1984–5), 406–13


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