One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             



AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Ivan KHANDOSHKIN (1747-1804)
Violin Sonata in G minor, Op. 3, No. 1 (published 1800-08) [19:58]
Violin Sonata in E flat major, Op. 3, No. 2 (published 1800-08) [13:10]
Violin Sonata in D major, Op. 3, No. 3 (published 1800-08) [13:09]
Six Old Russian Songs (c.1783) (No. 1. Along the bridge, this bridge  [5:15] *; No. 2. Is this my fate, this fate? [3:15]; No. 3. Little dove why do you sit so sadly? [5:11]; No. 4. What happened and why? [3:00]; No. 5. Once I gathered golden sheaves [2:58]; No. 6. Once I was a young man [4:07])
Anastasia Khitruk (violin)
Dimitry Yakubovski (viola) *
Kirill Yevtushenko, (cello) (Old Russian Songs)
rec. Melodiya Studios, Catherine’s Church, St Petersburg, May 2005. DDD
NAXOS 8.570028 [70.17]

Khandoshkin usually receives a respectful paragraph in standard violin histories. As the first Russian violinist-composer in St Petersburg’s Imperial Court he gave native musicians the hope that they too could rise to eminence in a field dominated by Italian and French imports. His high technical skill and obvious mastery of certain techniques – rather paraded in his solo violin works – gained him renown, though it’s clear from the Italianate slant of his compositions that he had absorbed many pertinent lessons from such as Tartini.

And yet one must also look to C.P.E. Bach, as the notes suggest, for a wider appreciation of the influences he took and processed; also, I would suggest, J.S. Bach as well. In the G minor solo sonata the level of accomplishment is decidedly high and the technical demands incessant. He was particularly fond of arpeggiated writing which, accompanied by a battery of ostinati and quadruple stopping (unnecessarily complicated one would have thought unless it was to parade his own command), gives the sonata a dramatic and tensile quality. The quality one is left with, above these and other features, is however the ornamental one. He was over-fond of decorative curlicues that give the music a rather frivolously clotted feel; mitigated it’s true by his quixotic theme lengths. The up and down staccati of the finale are more decorative than solidly musical, even though they must have aroused considerable enthusiasm at court.

The E flat major sonata is less of a show-piece, though the decorative writing is again a constant feature. The most consistently impressive of the movements is the finale with its bluntly accented rhythms, which generate a fine Russian dance drive. In the Minuet of the D major we find a rather vocalised kind of melodic line, very attractive, and some fine noble phrasing amidst the virtuosic flair that informs it. He certainly had a flair for dramatic characterisation as the finale of this sonata demonstrates. Soloist Anastasia Khitruk varies her dynamics here to fine effect.

For the Six Old Russian Songs she is joined in the first by the viola and for the remainder by the cello. They’re strongly tinged by folk influence and are simple in melodic outline. As ever Khandoshkin gives vent to his penchant for over-decorative gilding but the ebullience and feeling can’t be denied. I was most taken by the melancholy of the third song Little dove why do you sit so sadly? which brings out the best in the composer, forcing him to limit excessive ornamentation.

The performances are excellent. Khitruk has the measure of this demanding music and plays it with panache.

Jonathan Woolf


AmazonUK   AmazonUS

see The Solo Violin Music of Ivan Khandoshkin by Anastasia Khitruk




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1



Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.