MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: Crotchet

Russian Violin Concertos
Nikolai RAKOV (1908-1990)
Violin Concerto No. 1 (1944) [30:07]
Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987)
Violin Concerto in C major, Op. 48 (1948) [30:07]
Vissarion SHEBALIN (1902-1963)
Violin Concerto, Op. 21 (1940)
Andrew Hardy (violin)
Symphony Orchestra of Russia/Veronika Dudarova
rec. Moscow Film Studios, 1995. DDD
previously issued as Olympia OCD573
REGIS RRC1310 [79:52]
Experience Classicsonline


Here are three tunefully grateful Russian violin concertos from the 1940s.

The Rakov’s undulating topography is sweetly intoned by Hardy who plays a Cremona Guadagnini of 1793. It’s a romantic work steeping lightly between the worlds of Glazunov’s lissom concerto and something very close to Hollywood. There’s a lush and lissom autumnal Andante after the 14 minute Allegro first movement. This is followed by a flashing blade of a finale which is pointedly thrust forward, turned, swung and parried by Hardy, Dudarova and her orchestra. There’s a touch of Prokofuiev’s First Violin Concerto about this engaging movement.

Rakov was a pupil of Gliere. He became a leading member of the Moscow Conservatoire staff and taught Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Elena Firsova, Boris Tchaikovsky and Karen Khachaturian (the nephew of Aram). His works include three symphonies, two piano concertos and two violin concertos.

We are on more familiar soil with the Kabalevsky concerto which is in fact his only one for violin. It is one of a trilogy of concertos for Soviet Youth. The others are Cello Concerto No. 1 (1949) and the Third Piano Concerto (1953) which was premiered by the 14 year old Vladimir Ashkenazy. It is positive, fluent, exciting and registers its emotional message without evasion. Like the Rakov it has a dreamy central movement before diving into a playful Vivace giocoso with sparkling Cossack rhythms and considerable unsubtle brilliance.

Vissarion Shebalin was a pupil of Miaskovsky and became director of the Moscow Conservatory (1942-1948). His Violin Concerto is a more nuanced work than the other two. It deals in half-lights, tragedy, protest, brutality and fury. No wonder he attracted official criticism. He was far from being an ecstatic but he was evidently a free-thinker whose freed thoughts turned to gloom and found satisfaction in the expression of the ascent into sunlight. Towards the end of the first movement the music takes on a scorching redolence of Shostakovich. The middle movement is no dreamy pre-echo of the Rakov or Kabalevsky. Shebalin calls up a meditation on beauty in some lightless kingdom. After two such movements the composer turns a more optimistic page for the Rondo finale with what you might think of as a playful synthesis of the Glazunov and the Miaskovsky concertos.

Three fascinating works. The Rakov and Kabalevsky have more in common with each other than with the Shebalin. All of these works are ones you should really get to know if you enjoy the more famous concertos by Prokofiev and Miaskovsky. None of them are in the Shostakovich league though the Shebalin sometimes comes closest but it’s not that close.

The recording has an ideal balance of detail and impact from both orchestra and soloist.

Good liner notes by Per Skans.

You might be interested in comparing this with another Soviet Violin Concerto collection on the new deleted Russian Revelation label.

Let’s have more reissues like this please Regis. Meantime snap up this delectably lyrical and completely unhackneyed collection and wonder whether Hardy might return to record other rare Soviet concertos of the period 1930-60.

Rob Barnett


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos 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

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review 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.