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

Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button
Sound Samples and Downloads

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin Concerto in A minor Op.82 [21:35]
Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor Op.77 [38:47]
Sasha Rozhdestvensky (violin)
State Symphony Capella of Russia/Gennady Rozhdestvensky
rec. Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, 20-21 December 2007. Stereo. DDD
NIMBUS NI6123 [60:22]

Experience Classicsonline

Always ready to reveal the extent of my own ignorance, let me announce that before I received this disc for review I didn’t know that Gennady Rozhdestvensky’s son was an eminent violinist. I’m assuming that his mother is Victoria Postnikova, so his musical talent is hardly surprising. He plays here two Russian concertos with a fine Russian orchestra and his father on the podium.
Glazunov’s concerto is set unconventionally in a single movement; a first section Moderato and a final Allegro are separated by a cadenza. It is a glorious work. The first section is life-enhancingly melodic, with a particularly gorgeous tune slightly less than five minutes in, first given by the soloist on the violin’s lowest string. Only a very few notes in livelier passages might lead the listener to wonder if the composer is spinning them. The cadenza mulls over several tunes before leading into a final section full of fanfares and dancing rhythms. Drones add to the folk-like atmosphere, and if the musical material is less consistently distinguished than earlier in the work the colourful orchestration and brilliant writing for the solo instrument make up for it. In any event the work is irresistible, twenty minutes of sheer pleasure. Rozhdestvensky the younger is more than equal to its considerable technical challenges and his violin sings ardently when it should. His father and the superb orchestra support him splendidly, and the recording is lifelike and immediate.
Competition is stiff, particularly from Julia Fischer’s lovely version on Pentatone. Then there is Heifetz, incomparable in his own way, but his own way doesn’t appeal to this particular listener – too driven – who feels sure that anyone coming to the work through Rozhdestvensky’s performance will be delighted by it.
If the Shostakovich performance were of the same quality the disc would be an absolute winner. The soloist has all or most of the notes of this fiendish score under his belt, but there are a few disappointments. The very opening, for example, is hardly piano, neither from the orchestral strings nor from the soloist himself when he enters at bar 5, thus robbing the beginning of the work of its mystery. Mystery is also strangely absent in the sublime passage beginning around 5:20 (figure 11 in the score). Then the next passage, with its violin triplets (figure 12) is just too loud, sounding almost perfunctory, as does the following choral-like passage for winds, marked pianissimo. No, this first movement is short on atmosphere, hardly representative of its title, “Nocturne”. The following Scherzo goes bitingly well, though not every listener will appreciate the deliberately acerbic sound the soloist adopts for his opening octaves. The Passacaglia, too, is very well done, the horns suitably doom-laden at the beginning, with the soloist’s singing tone bringing the right note of consolation when required. I’ve never heard the tuba so prominent at figure 74 (around 4:50). Marked forte, the composer nonetheless added the indication non troppo (“not too much”), and the effect here is surprising, even rather odd. The closing pages are superbly atmospheric, almost as if performers and listeners alike are holding their collective breath. If you wanted to be pernickety you could say that some of the bottom Gs in the quadruple-stopped chords in the cadenza were inaudible, but otherwise this is a pretty stunning virtuoso display. There seem to be moments in the finale where father, son or both want to avoid over-excitement by easing back the tempo. What a pity! The performance is exciting enough in its own terms, but lacks the wildness, bordering on madness, that other performers have brought to it. If Rozhdestvensky can more than hold his own in the Glazunov, and that in spite of figures such as Heifetz, in the Shostakovich he is up against David Oistrakh. The latter’s live performance from the 1962 Edinburgh Festival (BBC Legends) with the Philharmonia and, coincidentally, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, sports a finale more than half a minute faster than the present one. Oistrakh plays with astonishing accuracy, but more importantly, he plays like a man possessed. What else could the audience do but go wild? This is very hard on Sasha Rozhdestvensky who, on this well-presented disc – particular mention for an excellent essay by Paul Conway – has produced a fine performance of one of the greatest of all violin concertos and an outstanding one of Glazunov’s lovable work.

William Hedley

See also reviews by Gavin Dixon and Rob Barnett


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

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.