Hideko Udagawa

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Arts Desk
RUSSIAN ROMANTICS
Music for violin & piano by Glinka, Glazunov, Cui, Rubenstein, & more
Hideko Udagawa (violin), Alexander Panfilov (piano); Northern Flowers

GRAMOPHONE
RUSSIAN ROMANTICS
Music for violin & piano by Glinka, Glazunov, Cui, Rubenstein, & more
Hideko Udagawa, Alexander Panfilov; Northern Flowers

Planet Hugill
RUSSIAN ROMANTICS
Music for violin & piano by Glinka, Glazunov, Cui, Rubenstein, & more
Hideko Udagawa, Alexander Panfilov; Northern Flowers

Arts Desk
GLAZUNOV:
Violin Concerto, with music by Tchaikovsky, Chausson, Sarasate and Saint-SäensHideko Udagawa (violin),
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Kenneth Klein (Nimbus)

BBC Music Magazine
BAROQUE INSPIRATIONS CD Hideko Udagawa (violin),
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Kraemer
(Nimbus Alliance)

Arts Desk
BAROQUE INSPIRATIONS CDHideko Udagawa (violin),
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Kraemer
(Nimbus Alliance)

Planet Hugill
BAROQUE INSPIRATIONS CDHideko Udagawa (violin),
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Kraemer
(Nimbus Alliance)

GRAMOPHONE
ARAM KHACHATURIAN CD
Violin Sonata and Dances from Gayaneh and SpartacusHideko Udagawa - Violin
Boris Berezovsky - Piano

THE STRAD
KHACHATURIAN AND LYAPUNOV CD

Hideko Udagawa - Violin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
Alan Buribayev - Conductor

THE GUARDIAN
KHACHATURIAN AND LYAPUNOV CD

Hideko Udagawa - Violin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
Alan Buribayev - Conductor

WIENER ZEITUNG
KHACHATURIAN AND LYAPUNOV CD

Hideko Udagawa - Violin, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
Alan Buribayev - Conductor

CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE
ROMANTIC NOVELTIES CD
PRESENTER’S CHOICE
Hideko Udagawa (violin), Martyn Brabbins (conductor),
Philharmonia Orchestra

FANFARE
ROMANTIC NOVELTIES CDHideko Udagawa (violin), Martyn Brabbins (conductor),
Philharmonia Orchestra

FANFARE
RACHMANINOV CDHideko Udagawa (violin) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano)

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE REVIEW
RACHMANINOV CDHideko Udagawa (violin) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano)

INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW
RACHMANINOV CDHideko Udagawa (violin) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano)

STRAD REVIEW
RACHMANINOV CDHideko Udagawa (violin) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano)

INTERVIEW - FANFARE
Khachaturian CD
Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovky, piano

FANFARE
Khachaturian CD
Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovky, piano

BAY AREA REPORTER
Khachaturian CD
Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovky, piano

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Khachaturian CD
Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovky, piano

SAN FRANCISCO WEEKLY
Khachaturian CD
Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovky, piano

GRAMOPHONE
CD of Glazunov Violin Concerto etc
Hideko Udagawa
London Philharmonic Orchestra

CD REVIEW MAGAZINE
CD of Glazunov Violin Concerto etc
Hideko Udagawa
London Philharmonic Orchestra

FANFARE
CD of Bruch & Brahms Violin Concertos
Hideko Udagawa
Sir Charles Mackerras
London Symphony Orchestra

CRONICA ROMANA
Review of the Enescu Festival
Recital by Hideko Udagawa and Boris Berezovsky

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
Queen Elizabeth Hall Recital

EASTERN DAILY PRESS
Norfolk and Norwich Festival
Hideko Udagawa
Leonard Slatkin
The Philharmonia

 

REVIEWS OF NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
Hideko Udagawa
Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg

 

Arts Desk Review
CD review by Graham Rickson, December, 2018

RUSSAIN ROMANTICS
Hideko Udagawa (violin), Alexander Panfilov (piano)
(Northern Flowers)

Hideko Udagawa's smoky, deeply romantic sound is the chief reason to investigate this CD of Russian music for violin and piano. Few of the pieces here are well known, though they make for enjoyable listening. Glinka’s unfinished Violin Sonata was originally a D minor viola work, though Udagawa makes the violin version (transposed up a fifth to A minor) sound idiomatic enough. A short Glinka mazurka and César Cui’s little Alla Spagnuola charm. As do a pair of miniatures by the little-known Viktor Kossenko and a smattering of Glazunov. An arrangement of his little piano Sonatina for violin and piano is delicious, and an adagio taken from his ballet Raymonda sounds like delectable salon music.

We get short pieces by Anton Rubenstein (including the once-ubiquitous Melody in F) and a youthful romance by Glière, an echt-Russian romantic whose career lasted well into the 1950s. Alexander Panfilov’s sensitive piano accompaniments are the ideal foil for Udagawa, who possesses enough charisma to make the slightest of these pieces sound convincing.

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GRAMOPHONE Review
CD review by Richard Whitehouse August, 2018

RUSSAIN ROMANTICS
Cui Alla spagnuola, Op 2+ No 1 Glazunov Meditation, Op 32. Raymonda - Grande adagio.
Sonatina (arr Rodionov) Glière Romance, Op 3 Glinka Violin Sonata. Mazurka (arr Safonov) Kosenko Two Pieces, Op 4 Rubinstein Viola Sonata, Op 49 - Andante. Melody, Op 3 No 1 (arr Auer). Romance, Op 44 No 1 (arr Mikhailovsky)
Hideko Udagawa vn Alexander Panfilov pf
Northern Flowers  NF/PMA99130 (63'. DDD)

The corpus of 19th-century Russian music for violin and piano being lcss than might be supposed, Hideko Udagawa has created this recital on the basis of transcriptions. Most significant is that of Glinka's Viola Sonata, whose two substantial movements afford ample indication of his early prowess but also creative indolence - there being no finale. Similarly idiomatic is the Andante from Rubinstein's Viola Sonata, its sophisticatcd interplay between recitative and arioso in striking contrast to the winsome elegance of the teenage Glazunov's Sonatina (conceived for piano). Another (re-)discovery is the diptych from Viktor Kosenko (1896- 1938), affecting miniatures demonstrably in the lineage of 'silver age' Romanticism.

César Cui's Alla spagnuola attests to the modest charms of a composer the centenary of whose death looks to be passing unnoticed, Gliere's  Romance an assured statement of intent from one whose easy expressiveness was unerringly suited to the Soviet era. Here, as throughout the disc, Udagawa's unforced eloquence is ideally complementcd by Alexarnder Panfilov's responsive pianism, not least the poignancy of Glazunov's Meditation or raptness of the Grande adagio from his ballet Raymonda that ends the recital. For having rounded out the extent of this repertoire, Udagawa places musicians and listeners alike in her debt.

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Planet Hugill Review
CD review by Robert Hugill on 5th June, 2018

RUSSAIN ROMANTICS:
music for violin & piano by Glinka, Glazunov, Cui, Rubenstein, & more

Hideko Udagawa, Alexander Panfilov; Northern Flowers

Music of great melodic charm, lesser known Russian works for violin and piano
Having recorded discs of Khachaturian and of Rachmaninov, violinst Hideko Udagawa returns to Russian repertoire with a recital with pianist Alexander Panfilov, on the Northern Flowers label, centred upon Glinka's sonata, originally for viola and piano and here given its premiere recording in the version for violin and piano, alongside music by Cesar Cui, Alexander Glazunov, Anton Rubinstein, and Viktor Kosenko.

Glinka's viola sonata dates from early in his career, 1825/26, in fact the viola was an instrument he played. For some reason the work is unfinished, the second movement was left incomplete and Glinka never seems to have written the final rondo. In 1932 the Russian viola player Vadim Beresovsky edited the two movements, providing a completion of the second. It is played here in a version for violin and piano, transposed up a fifth so that the instrument's open strings remain in the same relation to the music.

It is a substantial work, the first movement Allegro lasting over nine minutes and the second movement Larghetto over eight. The Allegro is attractively melodic, characterful with hints of drama. Glinka's style is reminiscent perhaps of Weber, and with such a big movement it threatens to almost outstay its welcome. Udagawa plays with a lovely strong tone and a nice hint of portamento. In the second movement she brings out the lyrical quality with a lovely singing tone. She follows this with a further work, an arrangement by Vasily Safonov (1852-1918) of Glinka's Mazurka in E, a delightful short piece.

Rheinhold Gliere's best known work seems to remain the concerto for coloratura soprano, though his catalogue includes symphonies and the ballet The Red Poppy. His Romance in D is a lyrical movement dating from 1902 and demonstrates Gliere's mastery of the violin (he was a fne violinist). Cesar Cui's Deux Morceaux for violin and orchestra date from 1884 and we hear the first of them in Cui's arrangement for violin and piano. Serenata all Sapgnuola is clearly Spanish in style, but the Russian dance elements creep in too, played with rich throbbing tone. Udagawa provides lots of singing tone in Alexander Glazunov's Meditation which dates from 1892.

Viktor Kossenko was a composer and violinist who died from cancer at the age of 42. Born in St Petersburg his family moved to Warsaw where he studied. Two Pieces Op.4, 'Dreams' and 'Impromptu' date from 1918. These combine a natural lyricism with a fondness for chromaticism and rich harmonies; a definitely interesting voice, and these performances make you want to explore his music further. The first, 'Dreams' is rather thoughful and developing intense passion, whilst the second 'Impromtu' is akin to a vigorous scherzo and receives a vibrant performance from Udagawa and Panfilov.

Anton Rubinstein was a major figure in Russian music, though his output is not that well known today apart from a few pieces. His Sonata for viola and piano was written in 1855, and here we hear the middle Andante in a version for violin and piano. A delicate violin solo leads to a lovely lyrical melody with flowing piano accompaniment, a song without words. His Romance in E flat is somewhat lighter in vein, delightful in its way, whilst the Melody in F is his best known piece.

The disc finishes with a further pair of pieces by Glazunov, his Sonatina originally written for piano and here heard in a version for violin and piano, and the 'Grande Adagio' from the ballet Raymonda. Both have an elegant melodic style with some characteristic elaborations for the violin.

The Russian school of violin playing was both important and influential, yet the vein of works for violin and piano which this generated is not that well known. On this disc Hideko Udagawa has unearthed a variety of attractive and lyrical works for violin and piano, full of melodic beauty. Throughout she is finely partnered by pianist Alexander Panfilov.

There is much music of great charm on this disc, and we must be grateful to the performers for giving us the chance to hear it.

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Arts Desk Review
by Graham Rickson, Saturday, 31 December 2016

GLAZUNOV:
Violin Concerto, with music by Tchaikovsky, Chausson, Sarasate and Saint-Säens

Hideko Udagawa (violin),
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Kenneth Klein (Nimbus)

"Here’s another outing for Glazunov’s charmer of a violin concerto, which should be played in public far more – presumably its 20-minute time-scale counts against it. It’s full of tunes and there isn’t a wasted bar – what’s not to like? Hideko Udagawa’s big-hearted performance is up there with the best, without quite supplanting Nicola Benedetti’s recent Decca version as my first choice. There’s lots to admire in a rapt slow movement and Udagawa is excellent in the finale, even if Kenneth Klein’s distantly-balanced LPO occasionally sound as if they’re on autopilot. The couplings make this disc worth a punt, though: Glazunov’s orchestration of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir d’un lieu cher is a real find, its delicious opening “Méditation” originally meant to be the slow movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Chausson’s Poéme is better-known, its Turgenev-inspired narrative gripping in Udagawa’s hands, the steamy orchestral writing well-realised, the slow fade compelling. A schmalzy Sarasate dance is great fun, and there’s Ysaÿe’s transcription of Saint-Saëns’ Caprice en forme de valse, Udagawa’s pyrotechnics never obscuring the music. An enjoyable disc."

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BBC Music Magazine Review - June 2016
by Julian Haylock

BAROQUE INSPIRATIONS CD

Works by Tartini, Vivaldi, Stamitz, Kreisler and Vitali
Hideko Udagawa (violin); Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Kraemer

Nimbus Nl6299 57:35 mins

"A former pupil of Nathan Milstein, Hideko Udagawa shares with her legendary teacher a propensity for revealing the violint natural soundworld by subtle coaxing rather than applied pressure. This gives her tone a ringing, espressivo directness reminiscent of the 'golden age 'of Menuhin, Stern and Oistrakh. Whether playing solo versions ofTartini's Deuil's Trill Sonata and Vivaldi's Preludio, or stylishly accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Nicholas Kraemer in concertos by Stamitz (in B flat) and Kreisler (in the style of Vivaldi), alongside Vitali's popular G minor Chaconne, the emphasis is on cantabile emotional resonance rather than 'historically informed' precision and clarity.

Experiencing the enchanted delight of Udagawa's affectionate phrasing in the Stamitz Concerto brings back memories of Henryk Szeryng's classic 1960s Mozart recordings with the New Philharmonia. 'That said, those used to hearing Tartini's famous Sonata à la Kreisler, played with all virtuoso guns blazing supported by opulent harmonic resonance, will surely be struck by how much more convincing it sounds unaccompanied, especially in the glowing acoustics of St Jude's Hampstead as expertly captured by producer Philip Hobbs. Arguably finest of all is Kreisler's Vivaldi pastiche, which fits stylistically hand-in-glove with Udagawa's 'old-world' charm and poetic eloquence."

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Arts Desk Review - January, 2016
by Graham Rickson

BAROQUE INSPIRATIONS CD

Hideko Udagawa (violin),
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Kraemer

(Nimbus Alliance)

"Get past the confusing album title (are we hearing new violin pieces inspired by Baroque music, or genuine Baroque violin music?) and there's loads to enjoy on Hideko Udagawa's recital disc. It begins with an unusually stark, powerful reading of Tartini's Devil's Trill sonata performed without the usual accompaniment. There's nowhere to hide, but Udagawa's playing is both fearless and alluring, the sonata bolder and more uncompromising shorn of its piano part. She also gives us the first recorded performance of a recently discovered solo prelude by Vivaldi – charming, but not earth-shattering, despite Udagawa's strong advocacy. Far more substantial is a violin concerto by Karl Stamitz. A fascinating peripheral classical figure, Stamitz and his composer brother were described by Mozart as “wretched scribblers, gamblers, swillers and adulterers – not the kind of people for me.” Poor Stamitz ended his days in poverty, dabbling in alchemy and vainly attempting to turn lead into gold. A sorry end, as this concerto is a more than decent piece, melodically catchy and well-structured. Udagawa's light, bright sound suits it perfectly, and she's given nimble backing by Nicholas Kraemer's Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Fritz Kreisler's bubbly Violin Concerto in C, written in 1927, was one of several pastiches falsely attributed to Baroque composers, in this case Vivaldi. More imposing is the Chaconne in G minor, attributed to one Tomasso Vitali. The work's provenance still isn't clear, and Udagawa muddies the waters further by using a smart new orchestration by Danyal Dhondy. This is the best thing on the CD. Such bold, impassioned playing shouldn't work in this piece, but any doubts are quickly swept away. An enjoyable collection, and well recorded."

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Planet Hugill Review - September, 2015
by Robert Hugill

BAROQUE INSPIRATIONS CD

Hideko Udagawa (violin),
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Kraemer

(Nimbus Alliance)

"This new disc on Nimbus Alliance from the UK-based Japanese violinist Hideko Udagawa is something of a contrast to her previous discs of music by Khachaturian, being a programme of baroque music with works by Tartini, Vivaldi, and Tomasso Vitali, but the addition of a concerto in the style of Antonio Vivaldi by Fritz Kreisler rather gives the game away. Entitled Baroque Inspirations, this is a disc of music which has often been appropriated, or misappropriated by later composers and was often known in highly romantic editions. Here Udagawa plays concertos by Kreisler and by Karl Stamitz, and a concertante work by Vitali, accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Kraemer, as well as unaccompanied music by Tartini, and Vivaldi.

She starts with Tartini's Sonata in G minor, 'Devils Trill' in a version for solo violin. The composer published it with a basso continuo accompaniment but said in correspondence about his Piccole Sonata that the sonatas were 'notated with a bass part for the sake of convention', but he played them 'without the bass', and this had been his true intention. Without a surviving manuscript, the work has a number of different versions, some like that of Kreisler more extreme than others. It would perhaps be interesting to hear Kreisler's version, but Udagawa plays Cartier's more scholarly one, and it works remarkably well unaccompanied, allowing the violin free rein.

Next comes a tiny Vivaldi piece for unaccompanied violin, in fact a later transcription of one of his Sonate a violine e basso per il cembalo, Op.2. Again, working remarkably well on solo violin.

Karl Stamitz's Concerto in B flat for violin and orchestra was one of the concertos which he probably presented in Paris where he spent a lengthy period. He was the eldest son of the celebrated Mannheim violinist and director of music. His concerto in three movements moves interestingly between the earlier 18th century and more modern styles.The opening Allegro has a traditional baroque structure but more modern musical material including a cadenza for the soloists. The Adagio is expressively lyrical, again with some showy moments whilst the final movement is a lively, if short rondo.

Kreisler's Concerto in C for violin and orchestra in the style of Antonio Vivaldi is of course, nothing like Vivaldi to our ears. But it was intended as a baroque pastiche (a companion to the works which Kreisler's publisher passed off as Kreisler's genuine baroque discoveries). It is a three movement work, again fast, slow, fast, and intriguingly mixes neo-baroque material with more romantic gestures. Though, we have to consider that it is perhaps not that far from some of the real baroque works which were presented in extremely romantic editions

The Chaconne attributed to Tomasso Vitali was originally printed in Ferdinand David's violin collection published in Leipzig in 1867. Other so-called editors produced rather more creative editions, but even in a scholarly one the music is hardly anything like Vitali. Again it is an interesting example of later misappropriation. The attraction of the piece is for increasing opportunities for elaborate display. Udegawa plays it with the orchestration revised by the young composer Danyal Dhondy.

Udagawa is a pupil of Nathan Milstein, and she combines a richly expressive and vibrant timbre with a fine technique. There is no hint of modern baroque style in her playing, so though she uses modern editions the sound world she evokes is that of earlier performance in the 20th century. That said, the overall style is actually rather captivating, and I did feel that it might have been fun to go further and give works like the Chaconne or the Tartini in more Kreisler-esque editions. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Nicholas Kraemer accompanies finely, matching Udegawa in vibrancy.

Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) - Sonata in G minor, 'Devil's Trill'
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) - Prelude: Andante in C minor
Karl Stamitz (1745-1801) - Concerto in B flat for violin and orchestra
Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) - Concerto in C for violin and orchestra in the style of Antonio Vivaldi
Tomasso Vitali (1663-1745) - Chaconne in G minor
Hideko Udagawa (violin)
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Nicholas Kraemer (conductor)
Recorded 23 May 2014, St Jude's Church, Hampstead, 15-16 April 2014, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
NIMBUS ALLIANCE LC5871 1CD [57.35]"

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Gramophone Review - October, 2014
by Jeremy Nicholas

ARAM KHACHATURIAN
Violin Sonata and Dances from Gayaneh and Spartacus

Hideko Udagawa (violin)
Boris Berezovsky (piano)
Nimbus Alliance - NI 6269

MUSIC FROM ARMENIA

"inevitably, to Khachaturian and a Nimbus CD devoted entirely to works for violin and piano by him. Why it has taken 14 years since it was recorded to make it on to the market is not clear, especially as it contains such attractive music and performances (even if the American Purchase College's piano is not the greatest instrument in the world). Boris Berezovsky partners the Japanese violinist Hideko Udagawa in four numbers from Gayaneh (two of them, including the once-ubiquitous 'Sabre Dance', in Heifetz's transcriptions), the 'Nocturne' from Masquerade and two numbers (world premier recordings in these versions) from Spartacus. Another world premiere is Khachaturian's 1932 Violin Sonata, in which a ruminative slow movement is followed by a spiky, fiery dance movement brimful of challenges for both players. The disc opens with four of the composer's earliest works including his very first: Dance No 1 (1925), with its echoes of Debussy's 'Gollywog's Cakewalk'. It's another welcome first recording."

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The Strad Review - March, 2013
by Julian Haylock

KHACHATURIAN
Concerto-Rhapsody in B flat minor, Sonata-Monologue
LYAPUNOV
Violin Concerto in D minor op.61
Hideko Udagawa (violin)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Alan Buribayev
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD 312

Old-world Charm in music from Armenia and Russia

Khachaturian's Concerto-Rhapsody is a more subtly argued and expressively shaded work than the Violin Concerto, although it lacks the latter's raw emotional power and sheer memorability. Hideko Udagawa sounds as though she believes in every note exchanging the squeaky-clean brilliance of the post-war generation for a Menuhin-like old-world charm and intensity. Like Menuhin at his early 1960s peak, Udagawa compensates for a less than pristine technique with a scorching musical insight that gets right under the skin of this elusive score. More impressive still is the solo Sonata-Monologue, a late work that distils the melodic orientalisms and rythmic verve of Khachaturian's most popular scores into captivating, aphoristic gestures, which Udagawa unwinds with a nobility that brings to mind her erstwhile teacher, Nathan Milsen.
The Lyapunov Concerto deserves to be far better known. Like Concerto-Rhapsody, it is cast in one continuous movement which at various points sounds as though it is about to break into a boldly memorable melodic statement à la Julius Conus or Arensky only to retain its Fauré-like composure. Udagawa fully embraces its tantalisingly opulent restraint and receives first-rate support from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Alan Buribayev, captured in glowingly realistic sound.

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The Guardian Review Thursday 10 January 2013
by Tim Ashley

 

Most people will probably be drawn to Hideko Udagawa's latest album by the thought of her playing Khachaturian's Concerto - Rhapsody and Sonata-Monologue. In some respects, however, it's Lyapunov's rarely heard Violin Concerto that proves the real treat. The piece is very retro. Dating from 1915, it sounds as if it were written 30 or so years earlier, though on its own terms it's wonderfully appealing. Lyapunov is a striking melodist. His use of Lisztian cyclic form seems remarkably fresh, and the concerto's rather grand manner suits Udagawa's noble style and steely tone wonderfully well. I prefer a warmer sound in Khachaturian, though there's no mistaking the commitment and dexterity she brings to both works. In the Concerto-Rhapsody and the Lyapunov, she is accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic, at its most opulent for Alan Buribayev. The unaccompanied Sonata- Monologue is riveting.

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Wiener Zeitung Review November 22nd, 2012
by Edwin Baumgartner

(eb) Die japanische Geigerin Hideko Udagawa fährt fort, das russische Repertoire zu erkunden - obwohl: Das Wort "Repertoire" ist wohl unangebracht. Aram Khachaturians Konzert-Rhapsodie steht zu Unrecht im Schatten seines Violinkonzerts, seine interessanten Monologe für Solo-Violine sind so unbekannt, wie das Konzert von Sergej Lyapunov. Hideko Udagawa erfüllt ihren Part mit voluminös leuchtendem Ton, der glänzend zu den Werken passt. Besser geht’s nicht!

Translation:
High violin art for niche works. The Japanese violinist Hideko Udagawa continues to explore the Russian repertoire though: the word "Repertoire" is probably inappropriate. Aram Khachaturian's Concerto-Rhapsody is unjustly in the shadow of his Violin Concerto, his interesting monologue for solo violin is as unknown as the concerto by Sergei Lyapunov. Hideko Udagawa plays her part with a voluminous bright tone, which brilliantly suits the works. It couldn't be better!

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Classic FM Magazine Review
by John Brunning
PRESENTER’S CHOICE

ROMANTIC NOVELTIES • Hideko Udagawa (vn); Martyn Brabbins, cond; Philharmonia O • SIGNUM 224 (53:57)
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Fantasy on Russian Themes, op. 33. GADE Capriccio in a. YSAŸE Mazurka, op. 10/2. Saltarelle Carnavalesque. GLAZUNOV Méditation, op. 32. TCHAIKOVSKY Sérénade mélancolique, op. 26. JOACHIM Variations in e

Udagawa’s mastery of the Russian school of violin playing is a tour de force. Her distinctly northern European style suits this repertoire perfectly.
John Brunning

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Fanfare Magazine Review
by Steven E. Ritter

ROMANTIC NOVELTIES • Hideko Udagawa (vn); Martyn Brabbins, cond; Philharmonia O • SIGNUM 224 (53:57)
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Fantasy on Russian Themes, op. 33. GADE Capriccio in a. YSAŸE Mazurka, op. 10/2. Saltarelle Carnavalesque. GLAZUNOV Méditation, op. 32. TCHAIKOVSKY Sérénade mélancolique, op. 26. JOACHIM Variations in e

You can read about Hideko Udagawa in Fanfare 27:3 (along with a feature article) and 33:5, both times by Robert Maxham who generally finds her playing to have a “sharp technical command recalling her mentor, but with a large tone reminiscent more of David Oistrakh’s than Milstein’s.” I am not so sure about the second half of that comment; hearing this disc, my first exposure to the lady, was a bit of a throwback. To me her sound is so much like that of her mentor Nathan Milstein that it was as being catapulted directly into one of those old EMI stereo discs. Even the sound of this recording stands comparison with the fine analog that Milstein got. Granted, there is a deeper imagery to this disc, but the fairly close recording of the violin, to the detriment of the orchestra but not necessarily to the overall effect, mimics strangely the way those discs sound. She also is very careful in the way she moves from note to note—some violinists are like that, you can almost hear the connective tissue in the fingers assessing each movement with an exactitude that is palpable, and Milstein is definitely one who does this, which might be the reason I was never sold on his Bach sonatas and partitas; it makes me uncomfortable, as if waiting for a slip that never happens, so secure he is in making us insecure. I get a little of that with Udagawa.

And there are a few held high notes that waver a bit, almost as if you were listening to this on a turntable that wasn’t calibrated quite correctly. But part of this is the charm of the playing as well, Udagawa being a performer who puts the spirit of the music ahead of all other considerations, and that is what makes this disc interesting. The title should sum up the sprit and the contents pretty well, the Tchaikovsky the only piece that has been recorded by virtually every virtuoso worth his or her salt, so the pickings are quite good. All of the other music here has a whiff of the outdoor concert about it, light entertainment with excellent melodies designed to show off the talents of the performer while giving the crowd a thrill. As an aside, the two Ysaÿe pieces are listed as world premiere recordings; that is true—as far as I can tell—of the Mazurka, but the Saltarelle Carnavalesque , at least in the violin/piano version, was recorded by Bruno Canino on an all-Ysaÿe Turtle Records disc in 2008.

The Rimsky is probably the least impressive piece here, while the Ysaÿes are very fine, and the Gade and Joachim works strike one as much more serious in nature than you might first think, at least after one hearing. They are showoff pieces in the best sense, with excellent wind writing to complement the warm sonorities of the violin.

Not everyone will want or need a disc like this, as a certain mood has to set in before the desire to engage this music surfaces in one’s psyche. But when that moment happens, hey—you’re all set. Steven E. Ritter

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Fanfare Review
by Robert Maxham

RACHMANINOFF Sonata in g, op. 19 (arr. Mikhailovsky). Romance in a, op. post. Danse orientale (arr. Mikhailovsky). Daisies, op. 38/3 (arr. Kreisler). Études-Tableaux: op. 33/7 (arr. Heifetz); op. 33/2 (arr. Heifetz). Prelude, op. 32/5 (arr. Heifetz). Melody, op. 21/9 (arr. Heifetz). Oriental Sketch (arr. Heifetz). Vocalise (arr. Press). Danse hongroise, op. 6/2 Hideko Udagawa (vn); Konstantin Lifschitz (pn) SIGNUM 164 (69:54)

Hideko Udagawa’s collection (with pianist Boris Berezovsky) of compositions by Aram Khachaturian (Koch 7571, Fanfare 27:3) included the Violin Sonata, as well as arrangements of Khachaturian’s short pieces made by Heifetz, Mostras, Khachaturian himself, and by Viktor Mikhailovsky. Udagawa has returned to Mikhailovsky for arrangements of works by Sergei Rachmaninoff (in this program, only the Romance and the Danse hongroise appear to have been originally written for the violin), including his Cello Sonata, op. 19. It may be no coincidence that Udagawa studied with Nathan Milstein, who, like Heifetz, enriched the literature of his instrument with many effectively wrought transcriptions.

Udagawa’s program opens with the Cello Sonata; in her prefatory comments to the booklet’s notes, she mentions that she had earlier felt that the Andante of that work “sounded very well” on the violin, leading her to request that Mikhailovsky transcribe the sonata for her. She plays the first movement with a manner and tone recalling, in both strength and richness, the instrument for which Rachmaninoff conceived the sonata, and Konstantin Lifschitz matches these attributes on the piano. If her expressive gestures accordingly seem bigger than life (or if occasional roughness or strain mark the climactic passages), her overall large-scale playing still seems appropriate in this transcription. The gnomic Scherzo sounds similarly several sizes larger (even in the lyrical passages) than that of an original violin sonata in her affecting reading. The third movement, the inspiration for Udagawa’s transcription project, bears the expected weight in her reading. The duo whips the finale into a frenzy.

By contrast with the sonata, the Romance, an original work (Udagawa’s notes mention it having been edited by Louis Persinger), doesn’t call forth such super-sized tone production and gesticulation, but she infuses its simpler melodic design with insinuating nuance. The Danse orientale, sumptuously suggestive in her reading, builds through its middle section in harmonic as well as in melodic fervor. Daisies, op. 38/3, the Études-Tableaux, op. 33/7 and op. 33/2, the Prelude, op. 32/5, and the Melody, op. 21/9, appear here in Heifetz’s arrangements. While Heifetz played Daisies with soaring complexity (he included it on his TV appearance in 1971), Udagawa explores most effectively the greater viscosity of her lower registers. The brief etudes in these performances sound chunkily energetic (though without Heifetz’s razor-sharp precision in the double-stops) in op. 33/7 and searingly lyrical in op. 33/2. The Prelude and Melody maintain a lower profile in these performances, though Udagawa plays them with heartfelt grace. In the Oriental Sketch, Udagawa produces a great deal of excitement but, concurrently, a bit of tonal roughness. The Vocalise, one of Rachmaninoff’s most familiar melodies, appears as a highlight of Udagawa’s collection in her melodically straightforward yet timbrally ingratiating performance, enhanced by judicious portamentos—a downward one toward the end sounds eerily reminiscent of her teacher, Milstein. A dashing, sonorous, Gypsy-like performance of the original Danse hongroise brings the recital to a boffo conclusion.

The sonata and the Romance, of which the notes indicate Udagawa’s performances to be premiere recordings (along with the Danse orientale), seem like significant contributions to the violin’s literature as well as, in these sympathetic performances, to the violin’s discography. Signum’s recorded sound presents a vibrant if somewhat reverberant portrait of the instruments, and a thrillingly close-up representation of Udagawa’s tone. Generally recommended for all types of collections.
Robert Maxham

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BBC Music Magazine
by Julian Haylock

Rachmaninov
Sonata in G minor (arr. Mikhailovsky);
Ten transcriptions

Udagawa (violin), Lifschitz (piano)
Signum SIGCD 164 69:54 mins

A pupil of Nathan Milstein, Hideko Udagawa tetains the Master’s nobility and warmth throughout a programme of Rachmaninov transctiptions centred on Mikhailovsky’s skilful adaptation of the Cello Sonata.

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International Record Review
by Robert Matthew-Walker

Rachmaninov
Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19. Danse Orientale, Op. 2 No.2 (both transcr. Viktor Mikhailovsky). Danse Hongroise, Op. 6 No.2 (arr. Samuel Dushkin). Melody, Op. 21 No.9. Prelude in G, Op. 32 NO.5. Etudes-tableaux, Op. 33 - No.2 in C; No.7 in E flat. Daisies, Op. 38 No.3. Oriental Sketch (all transcr. Jascha Heifetz). Vocalise, Op. 34 No. 14 (transcr. M. Press). Romance in A minor, Op. posth.

Hideko Udagawa (violin); Konstantin Lifschitz (piano).
Signum SIGCD 164 69:54 mins

…it is very beautifully played by both artists and alone is worth the price of the disc. Rachmaninov enthusiasts will need no second bidding to acquire this CD for the sake of this hitherto unknown original study from the composer's maturity…

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Strad Review
by Catherine Nelson

Rachmaninov
Cello Sonata in G minor op.19 (transcr. Mikhailovsky), Romance in A minor op.posth., miniatures transcr. Mikhailovsky, Kreisler, Heifetz, Press & Dushkin Hideko Udagawa (violin) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano).

Hideko Udagawa (violin); Konstantin Lifschitz (piano).
Signum SIGCD 164 69:54 mins

…Udagawa has a real feel for Rachmaninoff’s delicate expressive nuances … her bell-like clarity of tone in the upper reaches of Daisies (transcr. Kreisler) is incredibly persuasive, as is her capable handling of its scampering runs. The Étude-tableau op.33 no.7 (transcr. Heifetz) is equally finely judged, with fireworks aplenty, and the Vocalise (transcr. Press) is soaring and lovely, delicately phrased by both players. The effervescent flights of fancy of the fiendish Danse hongroise op.6 no.2 bring the disc to a shimmering close. The recording balance is perfect, the violin never clouded by the density of the piano part, and the sound is brilliant and true.

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Hideko Udagawa: Exploring Khachaturian's Legacy
by Robert Maxham
FANFARE

Khachaturian: Sonata & Dances

Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovsky, piano
KOCH 3-7571-2 HI

Hideko Udagawa has revealed one of the violin repertoire's most puzzling anomalies: compared to his fellow Soviet composers, Prokofiev and Shotakovich, Aram Khachaturian seems neglected. Yet his music for violin and piano combines the kind of accessibility that should guarantee broad popularity with the kind of high seriousness that should ingratiate it with even the most fastidious critics. The dances have remained pretty much the private preserve of Russians like Oistrakh and Kogan (and Heifetz, an expatriate Russian himself, arranged and played "Ayesha's Dance" and the "Sabre Dance") - when they were played at all. How does Ms. Udagawa account for these pieces' relative obscurity? "Probably people see Khachaturian as a ballet composer. He composed symphonies, but fewer than did Shostakovich or Prokofiev. And his music for the violin and piano transcriptions isn't easily available. Heifetz's transcriptions of the "Sabre Dance" and "Ayesha's Dance" were easy to obtain, but I had to go special routes to get the Russian editions of the ones by Mostras and Feigin. In addition, while making this recording, I asked a friend to transcribe more pieces." Will those new transcriptions become available? "If people request them, of course, my friend would be happy to publish them. Let's hope that will happen. I even played from a manuscript. Khachaturian's grandson released his grandfather's material (for the Dance No 1) from family archives. Again, if people want it, it could be published. It would be nice if it happened like that - if I could help make his chamber music or violin and piano music more popular - because it's so beautiful, and I enjoyed playing it so much. If more people listen to and play it, I'll be very happy."

Did the repertoire's ethnicity present any stylistic challenges? "I was always interested in Russian music, and, of course, I studied with Milstein - he flattered me, saying I probably had some Russian blood in me. He had such understanding of Russian music, and I learned from him how to approach it. You know, he had played the Prokofiev Sonata with Prokofiev himself at the piano." Was that the First of Second Sonata? "Both! But I prepared those pieces in my own way. And Boris Berezovsky is the soul of Russian music, so he was the ideal person for this recording. As we discussed and rehearsed, we discovered more and more, and the interpretation deepened. We rehearsed quite a bit, more than was necessary; sometimes, because we enjoyed it, we rehearsed all day long. He liked the music, too, and was also surprised that so many of the composer's works for violin and piano hadn't been recorded."

The short pieces, from the earliest to the latest on the program, sound very effective on the violin. Do they lie well on the fingerboard? "I've played most of Khachaturian's music for violin. I didn't find the concerto difficult - it's rather well fitted to the violin. But the transcriptions, or even the original pieces, are somewhat more difficult. I wouldn't say they're not well suited; but the Sonata isn't so well written for the instrument - maybe because he was a cellist. Some passages were awkward, not easily playable or violinistic - unlike the Concerto." Did Oistrakh have something to do with the Concerto's more idiomatic writing? "I'm sure. And the cadenza's so well written by Oistrakh." Did Ms Udagawa learn these shorter works just for the recording? "Yes. First, I came across the Sonata's music. When I realized that nobody had recorded it, I began to think that I should do it; and then I planned the recording's program of Khachaturian. At first, there weren't enough pieces; but I gradually discovered more and more, and through an introduction to the family, I got hold of one of the manuscripts - and, as I said, my friend offered to make transcriptions. I did all that for the recording, but I'd like to add some of those pieces to my repertoire - they're really lovely. And it's so satisfying to discover unrecorded works by great composers. I started to search for more Russian composers' unrecorded pieces; and I'm preparing another collection along the lines of the Khachaturian CD. I hope you'll find more Russian composers' premiere recordings in Koch's catalog in the future. That's my passion at the moment."

Koch's recorded sound seems very live and close up. Was she happy with the result? "Yes. Actually, when I make recordings, I like a rich, warm sound, since the violin is a very old instrument. I don't like too much digital modern sound. Of course, that brings a lot of clarity, but I don't want to lose warmth. I'm always very conscious of that."

Ms Udagawa's performances recalls Milstein, Heifetz and even Oistrakh. Which violinist's style most deeply influenced hers? "Obviously I've been influenced most of all by Milstein. Next would be Heifetz - but, of course, I admire so many of the 20th Century's great violinists. They're very individual, and I learned a lot from them - but especially from having lessons with Milstein and listening to Heifetz." How did she manage not to be overwhelmed by Milstein's personality? "I studied with him when I was very young - I'd just come from Japan. He was generous with his time; and I was very fortunate to have two lessons a week, with one lesson sometimes lasting three hours. I could go through all the violin repertoire - and he always let me record the lessons. I have a collection of all of those Milstein lessons - he played a lot in them. When I listen to them, all the memories come back. Actually, it's my secret ambition to release them sometime. But studying with him could be, in some ways, very confusing. Because he was so individual, certain things worked only for him and not for every other violinist. I had to decide which things suited me, which didn't. But you couldn't avoid his influence - and not only on technical points and on the production of tone: he emphasized the importance of good taste. You know, he was well known to be the aristocrat of taste. I learned so much from him that I probably wouldn't be the violinist I am now without him, and I'm so grateful. But, of course, I gradually started to find my own way, not just copying. Now, although I owe so much to his advice, I like to think I have my own style. Young violinists don't have so much individuality now - it seems to be going more and more that way. The great masters' individuality is very satisfying to listen to - their expressive range and tone, not just technique. Many younger players have more technical perfection, but not so much personality and individuality, and you often can't detect who's playing. Personality is so important, I always like to aim to have that."

 

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FANFARE

Khachaturian: Sonata & Dances

Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovsky, piano
KOCH 3-7571-2 HI

That Aram Khachaturian's works for violin and piano, except for the once ubiquitous "Sabre Dance" from Gayaneh, haven't reached a wider audience constitutes one of the perplexing idiosyncrasies of the instrument's repertoire. His brief Sonata, evoking a redolent ethnic atmosphere similar to that of his better-known Violin Concerto in its first movement and vigorously propulsive but consistently serious and high-minded its second, could easily step in for one of Prokofiev's Sonata's on a recital program. Hideko Udagawa, who traces her violinistic lineage to Nathan Milstein, plays the first movement suggestively and the second incisively, with a sharp technical command recalling her mentor, but with a large tone reminiscent more of David Oistrakh's than Milstein's. The rest of the program consists of short pieces, many from Khachaturian's ballet scores from the 40s, but including an early set of freestanding pieces (Elegy, Dance, Song-Poem, and Dance No 1) from the 20s as well. These may seem severe in comparison to the exotic melodic, harmonic, and orchestral richness of the later works; but, like the sonata from the next decade, they reveal a prepossessing if less flamboyant musical imagination. To those who denigrate Khachaturian for what they consider tawdry, amorphous splashes of color, these sharply etched miniatures should come as a bracing surprise. Even the comparatively extroverted Dance No. 1 from 1925 maintains an aristocratic reserve all the way to its tongue-in-cheek conclusion. The "Lullaby" from Gayaneh, the first of the program's nods to the ballets, recalls, even in its version for violin and piano, the heavily perfumed atmosphere of the orchestral original. These pieces, even the comparatively reflective ones, take striking advantage of the violin's technical capabilities (the "Nuneh Variation" from Gayaneh makes an even more splashing impression than the better-known "Sabre Dance"). Masquerade's Nocturne, originally a violin solo, seems equally effective in the reduced setting with piano.

Udagawa and Berezovsky never permit Khachaturian's wam tunefulness to degenerate into sentimentality. While they propel these pieces briskly through passages in which less fastidious sylists might bog down (as in the Nocturne), their dapper aplomb more than compensates for whatever they might have lost in natural ease. In fact, Udagawa's portamentos and panache in the big tunes (as in "Ayesha's Dance" from Gayaneh and the "Dance of Egyna" from Spartacus, and, of course, the "Sabre Dance", in which few have wielded a sharper edge) occasionally recall Heifetz. But, however reminiscent Udagawa's technical devices may be of the greatest artists of the past, they never sound derivative, so seamlessly has she integrated them into the music's fabric.

The reverberant recorded sound serves both instruments well, providing ample range for the frequent rhapsodic climaxes. Udagawa and Berezovsky's centenary tribute to the composer should appeal to both his admirers and his detractors. Strongly recommended for its repertoire as well as for its stirring performances.

 

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BAY AREA REPORTER

Khachaturian: Sonata & Dances

Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovsky, piano
KOCH 3-7571-2 HI

Several new recordings celebrate the Khachaturian Centennial. A lovely Koch recital, Khachaturian: Sonata and Dances, features violinist Hideko Udagawa and pianist Boris Berezovsky in mostly world-premiere recordings. Their rendition of the early Dance No. 1 (1925) was made possible after the Khachaturian family supplied the violinist with the original handwritten manuscript. The longest work on the program, the beautiful Sonata for Violin and Piano (1932), winningly melds Armenian sensibility with French impressionism. Seven violin/piano arrangements of orchestral soundfests strip away surface splash to reveal their harmonic underpinnings. Most fetching are the energetic Dance of Egyna and heartfelt Grande Adagio from Spartacus, and the catchy Nuneh Variation and Sabre Dance from Gayaneh.

Udagawa, a protégé of Nathan Milstein, plays with piquant, occasionally resiny tone. One wishes for more bite and sweetness but her tang does underscore Khachaturian's folksiness. Berezovsky provides ideally sensitive support.

Jason Serinus

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SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Khachaturian: Sonata & Dances

Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovsky, piano
KOCH 3-7571-2 HI

That Aram Khachaturian's works for violin and piano, except for the once ubiquitous "Sabre Dance" from Gayaneh, haven't reached a wider audience constitutes one of the perplexing idiosyncrasies of the instrument's repertoire. His brief sonata, evoking a redolent ethnic atmosphere similar to that of his better-known Violin Concerto in its first movement and vigorously propulsive but consistently serious and high-minded its second, could easily step in for one of Prokofiev's sonatas on a recital program. Hideko Udagawa, who traces her violinistic lineage to Nathan Milstein, plays the first movement suggestively and the second incisively, with a sharp technical command recalling her mentor, but with a large tone reminiscent more of David Oistrakh's than Milstein's. The rest of the program consists of short pieces, many from Khachaturian's ballet scores from the 1940s, but including an early set of freestanding pieces (Elegy, Dance, Song-Poem, and Dance No. 1) from the 20s as well. These may seem severe in comparison to the exotic melodic, harmonic, and orchestral richness of the later works; but, like the sonata from the next decade, they reveal a prepossessing if tawdry, amorphous splashes of color, these sharply etched miniatures should come as a bracing surprise. Even the comparatively extroverted Dance No 1 from 1925 maintains an aristocratic reserve all the way to its tongue-in-cheek conclusion. The Lullaby from Gayaneh, the first of the program's nods to the ballets, recalls, even in its version for violin and piano, the heavily perfumed atmosphere of the orchestral original. These pieces, even the comparatively reflective ones, take striking advantage of the violin's technical capabilities (the "Nuneh Variation" from Gayaneh makes an even more slashing impression than the better-known "Sabre Dance"). Masquerade's Nocturne, originally a violin solo, seems equally effective in the reduced setting with piano.

Udagawa and Berezovsky never permit Khachaturian's warm tunefulness to degenerate into sentimentality. While they propel these pieces briskly through passages in which less fastidious stylists might bog down (as in Nocturne), their dapper aplomb more than compensates for whatever they might have lost in natural ease. In fact, Udagawa's portamentos and panache in the big tunes (as in "Ayesha's Dance" from Gayaneh and the "Dance of Egyna" from Spartacus, and, of course, the Sabre Dance, in which few have wielded a sharper edge) occasionally recall Heifetz. But, however reminiscent Udagawa's technical devices may be of the greatest artists of the past, they never sound derivative, so seamlessly has she integrated them into the music's fabric.

The reverberant recorded sound serves both instruments well, providing ample range for the frequent rhapsodic climaxes. Udagawa and Bereszovsky's centenary tribute to the composer should appeal to both his admirers and his detractors. Strongly recommended for its repertoire as well as for its stirring performances.

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SAN FRANCISCO WEEKLY

Khachaturian: Sonata & Dances

Hideko Udagawa
Boris Berezovsky, piano
KOCH 3-7571-2 HI

Best known primarily for his piece "Sabre Dance" (beloved by movie and cartoon directors for chase scenes), Russian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903 - 1978) had a lot more goin' on. Despite its historical context, his music had more incommon with the Romantic era - but that didn't stop Soviet government officials from giving him grief for being so un-PC "modern". (His music influenced Miles Davis during his Kind of Blue period, too). This Koch disc of Sonatas and Dances, which spans the years 1925-54 and includes some world-premiere recordings, is a real treasure: it's full of heart-swelling (but never obvious) lyrical beauty infused with delicate dissonances, flawlessly performed by Hideko Udagawa (violin) and Boris Berezovsky (piano).

 

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GRAMOPHONE

Glazunov - Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky orch. Glazunov - Souvenir d'un lieu cher
Chausson - Poème
Sarasate - Danzas Españolas
Saint-Saëns trans. Ysaÿe - Caprice en forme de valse

Hideko Udagawa, Violin
Kenneth Klein, Conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Carlton Classics CIMPC966

This is a generous collection of sugar-plum works for violin and orchestra, played with uninhibited romanticism by the rich-toned Udagawa. You might count her playing rather old-fashioned in the way she allows herself the occasional portamento, but what matters is her passionate commitment, which is clear in every note. The Glazunov receives a heartfelt performance which is just as compelling as the virtuoso accounts listed. In the finale she may not offer quite such bravura fireworks as Heiftetz (RCA) or Perlman (EMI), but with more open sound the result is just as persuasive in its lilting way. The violin is balanced close, but not so close as Perlman or Heifetz, and there is far more space round the orchestral sound, which is full and warm to match the soloist.

It is valuable to have all three of the haunting pieces which Tchaikovsky called Souvenir d'un lieu cher. The "Meditation" and "Melodic" have been recorded far more frequently than the central Scherzo, and this is currently the only complete recording of all three in Glazunov's orchestral arrangements. The Chausson Poème is warmly convincing if a little heavy-handed, the Sarasate Romanze dances delightfully, and only in the final Saint-Saëns Caprice does Udagawa's playing sound a little effortful in its virtuosity, though that is in part the fault of the Ysaÿe transcription.

Edward Greenfield

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CD REVIEW MAGAZINE

Glazunov - Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky orch. Glazunov - Souvenir d'un lieu cher
Chausson - Poème
Sarasate - Danzas Españolas
Saint-Saëns trans. Ysaÿe - Caprice en forme de valse

Hideko Udagawa, Violin
Kenneth Klein, Conductor
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Carlton Classics CIMPC966

This is a fascinating collection of little-known works for violin and orchestra, very well played by the talented soloist. The recorded quality is very good indeed, with the soloist well-balanced against the orchestra. This is too valuable a record in terms of unusual repertoire not to have a place in your collection.

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FANFARE

Bruch - Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor
Brahms - Violin Concerto in D

Hideko Udagawa - Violin
Sir Charles Mackerras - Conductor
London Symphony Orchestra

Chandos CHAN 8974

I enjoyed listening to this CD, which displays Udagawa's strength's of enthusiasm, bravura attack, and an ability to convey her enjoyment of the music.

Like Heifetz, Udagawa gradually converts the arpeggios in the Bruch's first movement into broken chords (for more volume), and like Heifetz (and her teacher Milstein's Columbia 78s) she gives octaves reinforcement to the two climactic notes before the final scale run that leads into the slow movement. The overall impression is of impetuous virtuosity and high spirits. Brahms is similar: there can be a strange "catch" in long-held notes, but the excitement level is high. The sound has impact - the horns really blaze. The winds seem in tighter focus than the strings, and resonance at closing chords gets soaked up quickly. These are earthy, gutsy, entertaining performances.

David K. Nelson

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CRONICA ROMANA

Review of the Enescu Festival
Recital by Hideko Udagawa and Boris Berezovsky

The Enescu sonatas for violin, as the Greek Leonidas Kavakos and the Japanese Hideko Udagawa interpreted them, were of the highest artistic level.

When a European approaches the difficult scores of Enescu, his performance is no surprise. But, when a Japanese, Hideko Udagawa, trying to discover the Romanian meaning of the first two sonatas by introducing in the lyrical parts Asian emotional thrills, and deciphering in the Far-eastern essential chromatics (taken by Enescu from old Romanian fiddlers) archaic reminiscences of Indo-European folklore, her interpretation acquires unusual accents that captivated her audience.

As an added bonus, the pianist Boris Berezovsky was a volcanic presence relentlessly inspiring his partner in order to produce from Enescu's scores a substance of a level never before heard.

Viorel Cosma

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THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

The violinist Hideko Udagawa brought to Mozart's B-flat sonata K. 378 at the start of her Queen Elizabeth Hall recital on Sunday, the distinctive refinement of tone and sensibility for which she has been particularly praised throughout Europe and the United States. In all three movements of the sonata, it ensured playing of an instinctively apt, astutely fashioned, yet never self-consciously insistent, poise, grace, and spirited clarity of diction.

Qualities which might have seemed ideally suited to Mozart were employed to even more striking purpose in the central, C minor sonata from Beethoven's Opus 30. For with the vividly projected, precisely controlled sense of drama issuing from deep within the notes, she was here no less sensitive to the darker, turbulent undercurrents of the outer movements, than to the poetic eloquence of the adagio, or to the scherzo's mood of relief from the stresses and strains in the sonata as a whole.

Both pieces demand the closest collaboration between the violin and the piano, and in both the partnership with her pianist, Gerald Robbins, was one of a keenly interacting quality. A similar, carefully balanced equilibrium was maintained through the contrasting episodes of Schubert's C major Fantasy, the violinist's lyrical finesse still further enhanced by her richly expressive account of Tchaikovsky's "Meditation," her deftly characterised virtuosity by Heifetz's ingenious transciptions of songs from Porgy and Bess.

Robert Henderson

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EASTERN DAILY PRESS

Big, Bold Opening

Norfolk and Norwich Festival
Hideko Udagawa -
violin
Leonard Slatkin -
conductor
The Philharmonia
St Andrew's Hall, Norwich

Curtain up indeed! What a way to start the festival with, in the centenary year of his death, an all Tchaikovsky evening.

Under the ebullient leadership of conductor Leonard Slatkin, the orchestra kept up festival director Heather Newill's "du différent" policy. "Not too man people are familiar with the Festival Overture in D Major," she said. And so it was a beautifully vigorous, brassy and percussive opening.

On to the Violin Concerto in D, and the charming Japanese soloist Hideko Udagawa immediately set a dancing tempo backed by emotionally-charged strings. A superbly confident cadenza to the Allegro and a display of technical mastery in a Finale followed by a symphony to remember.

Peter Ilych could write a fair tune, and there is an abundance in the E minor symphony No. 5.

Michael Drake

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TAGESSPIEGEL/Berlin

To play two big solo sonatas in one evening calls for considerable concentration and technical assurance: Hideko Udagawa possesses plenty of both. The fiery driving force which she brought to the fugue and presto of the Bach was immediate in its impact, and masterly in her intonation in double and triple-stopping. Her bowing combined feather-light precision with the development of remarkable power in the heel of the bow. The tone which she produces with such splendid firmness combined with her rapid vibrato to give and expressive exactness.

Wolfgang Molkow

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STEREO MAGAZINE/Tokyo

Beloved protégé of the great master Milstein and internationally acclaimed herself, Hideko Udagawa has recorded two great romantic concertos with the prestigious London Symphony. I can state, without being biased in her favour at all, that her playing is world class and first rate.

Nishimura

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THE BIRMINGHAM POST/England

A few weeks ago, I heard the young internationally celebrated Japanese violinist Hideko Udagawa play an impressive Mendelssohn. Here my first impressions were more than justified by her ravishing performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto in D minor. This soloist commands a tone of resplendent richness which she uses effectively at all times, whether producing a music of brilliant virtuosity or poetic lyricism. On this account the Brahms suited her, but there was far more to her performance than technical mastery. Above all, her understanding of the work led to a reading of profound sympathy. Compelling poetic playing and sure artistic judgment of climax, in the cadenza and the excitingly precise Hungarian finale for example, were the epitome of artistry.

Barrie Grayson

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COMERCIO do PORTO/Portugal

Hideko Udagawa was, from beginning to end, a prodigious performer: sometimes evoking profound pathos, sometimes brilliant and seductive in her rapturous bowing, always propitiated by a stupendous left hand. Her fluency, her confidence, her accuracy and her personal gift of interpretation, were fully displayed through her powerful technique and musicianship. Exalted applause showed to what extent the audience was naturally and justly fascinated by one of the most enchanting virtuosi of the violin who has ever performed in Portugal. We believe that the concert will never be forgotten by anyone present.

Hugo Rocha

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THE STRAD/England

Hideko Udagawa's performance of Bruch's G Minor Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was one of conviction indeed. Her mature and sensitive playing never slid into self-indulgence. In turn muscular and warmly lyrical, she dominated proceedings magisterially and with natural flair, endorsing one's affection for this indestructible old war-horse.

Jeffrey Josephs

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THE IRISH TIMES/Dublin

Far too many violinists play unaccompanied Bach as a struggle against impossible odds, rather than making glorious music in spite of the technical physical challenge. Miss Udagawa kept her sweet, beautiful, full tone all through, made one (for example) enjoy the fugue both as a fugue and as lovely music. This was no feat: it was musicmaking for which to be thankful.

Charles Acton

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ASAHI SHIMBUN/Tokyo

Hideko Udagawa is the kind of performer who is blessed by brilliant technique and as a result of that, the whole stage brightens up. But the reason that I found Richard Strauss's Sonata (Opus 18) so interesting was that Ms Udagawa communicated first and foremost the essence of the composer's soul, without ever having to push her technique to the forefront.

Hikaru Hayashi

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BERGENS TILENDE/Norway

With a beautiful and clean tone, and excellent left-hand technique, the musical expressions were rich and varied. A very respectable performance by the young soloist, who we would very much like to hear again.

Falter Aamodt

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FINANCIAL TIMES/London

This Japanese violinist has a commanding technique: a striking economy of left hand movement, without the slightest redundant muscular efforts; dazzlingly agile articulation in the highest positions; intonation in every register exact, bright and [with] sparkling tone.

Dominic Gill

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LOS ANGELES TIMES

Max Pommer led the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg in an exemplary Mozart program Friday. But it was violin soloist Hideko Udagawa who drew special praise. Alert, bright, vigorous, confident and tasteful, she played the Concerto in D, K. 218, with the optimism of youth.

Chris Pastes

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GREEN BAY PRESS GAZETTE

Udagawa has assembled an impressive list of solo appearances with major orchestras, and she quickly revealed why she is much in demand, demonstrating a bright, glistening tone that was remarkable for its consistency and purity throughout its range.

The soloist displayed a complete command of her instrument. She worked closely with conductor Pommer to achieve an unusually stately performance of the concerto [Mozart's Violin Concerto No 4 in D Major, K. 218].

The audience reponded warmly to Udagawa's captivating performance.

Terence O'Grady

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THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR

There was no room for stereotypes on the bus that brought the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, conductor Max Pommer and violinist Hideko Udagawa to town.

Udagawa took center position in the all-Mozart program. Her solo work in the Violin Concerto No 4 called to mind her mentor, Nathan Milstein, and a handful of other grand masters of the violin from earlier in this century.

Udagawa offered both elegance, with a light but penetrating tone, and sentiment, with far more sliding up and down the fingerboard than is now fashionable. All this and a legato that should require not a bow but a butter knife - old-school Mozart playing at its most ingratiating.

James Reel

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