MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

and more.. and still writing ...

MusicWeb - "A Beacon of Probity and Integrity" - Ralph Moore

Search MusicWeb Here


Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid world-wide.

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
Concerto for violin and orchestra in a minor, Op.82 (1904) [20:38]
Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Souvenir d’un lieu cher , Op.42 (1878, orchestrated GLAZUNOV) [15:17]
Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899)
Poème for violin and orchestra, Op.25 (1896) [15:07]
Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908)
Spanische Tänze, Op.22/1: Romanze Andaluza [4:50] (1879)
Camille SAINT-SÄENS (1835-1921)
Six Études for solo piano, Op.52: Caprice en forme de valse (1877, transcribed for violin and orchestra by Eugène Ysaÿe) [7:50]
Hideko Udagawa (violin)
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Kenneth Klein
rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 1989. DDD

I should point out that Nimbus don’t seek to conceal that this recording is by no means new-minted, having been released on the inexpensive Pickwick label in 1991 (PCD966).  At that time the chief rivals in the Glazunov were from Heifetz and Hendl (RCA, now download only or incarcerated in box sets) and Perlman and Mehta (EMI, again now in a recent monster box or on vinyl).  Of more recent versions, Julia Fischer with the Russian National Orchestra and Yakov Kreizberg has received a warm welcome (Pentatone PTC5186059, with Khachaturian and Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.1).

I’m sorry to report that when I looked at that Fischer recording and the BIS recording on which Vadim Gluzman with the Bergen PO and Andrew Litton coupled the Glazunov and Tchaikovsky concertos (BIS-1432, SACD), in Download News 2013/3, I decided that their quality meant that my copy of the Udagawa/Klein on Pickwick, which I described as a decent performance, was due for a visit to the charity shop.

It’s also unfortunate that at the same time as the Nimbus reissue Warner Classics have just transferred Anne Sophie Mutter’s recording of the Glazunov, with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC and Mstislav Rostropovich, coupled with Prokofiev, Violin Concerto No.1, and Shchedrin from the mid-price Elatus label to a slightly less expensive reissue (Erato Original Jacket Collection 2564613136, around £7.50).  Like the Fischer and Gluzman recordings that Erato reissue comes with more substantial fare than the Nimbus.

Listening again, I can see what persuaded me to thin the Pickwick CD from my collection, but I can also hear the evident commitment in Hideko Udagawa’s playing: no less acute a reviewer than the late Edward Greenfield called it ‘heartfelt’.  Her style is a little more old-fashioned than the other recordings that I have mentioned, but that could be closer to the way that Glazunov expected the music to sound over a hundred years ago.  It’s perhaps significant that Heifetz, not noted for hanging around, though from an older school of violinists, matched Udagawa’s tempo for the first movement in his pre-war 78 recording (Naxos Historical) but had speeded up a notch by the time of his stereo recording (RCA Living Stereo, download or 6-CD box set).

BIS fit the concerto on one track, so it’s hard to compare Gluzman’s tempi in the separate movements but I’m not surprised to see that he and Litton take a whole two minutes less overall.  Fischer and Kreizberg adopt very similar tempi to Udagawa and Klein and are inclined to linger to take in the scenery in much the same manner, while Mutter and Rostropovich, again recorded on a single track, take almost exactly as long overall as the Nimbus, but all three rivals adopt a slightly lighter touch.

Except, that is, in the finale where Udagawa gives a wonderfully freewheeling performance with no undue lingering, almost making me think that I was wrong to get rid of the Pickwick version.

This recording gives us all three parts of the Tchaikovsky Souvenir d’un lieu cher, including the then often omitted central c minor Scherzo .  That’s more commonly offered now, as, for example, by Julia Fischer and Yakov Kreizberg on their Pentatone recording of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and by Gluzman and Litton on their Glazunov/Tchaikovsky coupling (above).  Again Udagawa is a little slower than most in the Scherzo, but there’s no sense of the music dragging and she’s actually faster than Fischer in the opening Méditation, without any sense of undue haste, and she gives a loving account of the closing Mélodie.

Nor is the Chausson Poème too drawn-out, though it’s given quite an emotional treatment.  Just at random I compared Kyung Wha Chung, whose Decca recording, with the RPO and Charles Dutoit, coupled with the Franck and Debussy Sonatas, earned a well-deserved Penguin Rosette.  Chung draws the music out more noticeably, taking a whole minute and a half longer.  I enjoyed the Nimbus until I listened to the Decca which adds a whole new perspective to an old favourite, plumbing its emotions and probing its nuances, yet light and without sounding sentimental.  If you ever saw Chung play, deeply ‘into’ the music as if in a trance, you can imagine her complete identification with this piece.  Why, when she produced music of this quality, did her recording career seem to dry up even before the injury that kept her off the stage for so long?

Attractive performances on Nimbus of the two shorter works do little to affect the issue either way.

The Gluzman and Fischer recordings both come in SACD format and as 24-bit downloads from  For that reason, but also for the quality of performance and their substantial couplings, they remain my first choice for the Glazunov concerto.  Yet the Nimbus recording has polished up better than I recall it sounding on Pickwick.

The Pickwick notes – rather brief as I recall – have been replaced with a new (2015) and more adequate set by Jonathan Woolf.

I’m sorry not to be as positive about the Nimbus as I was fairly recently in the case of another Udagawa recording on the same label, Baroque Inspirations (NI6299 – review and less enthusiastic  review by Jonathan Woolf).

Brian Wilson



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

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1


Cantatas and Organ Works

Complete Songs

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Simone Dinnerstein piano