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This disc includes the first recording of Glinka’s own violin version of his viola sonata (1825), of which only two movements survive. It is a beautiful piece, its slow movement beautifully sustained here. Udagawa’s sound is pure and sweet; Glinka’s Mazurka, originally a piano piece, works beautifully, Udagawa’s double-stopping a delight (think Heifetz).

It is nice to hear some Glière outside of ‘Ilya Muromets’ or Red Poppy: his Romance is Tchaikovskian in expression. The Glazunov Meditation is well-known; the Ukrainian composer Viktor Kosenko’s music much less so, but it is wonderfully Scriabin-fragrant in ‘Dreams’, and playful in the impromptu wherein Udagawa could be just a tad more technically assured. The first recording of the violin version of Anton Rubinstein’s Andante (from the viola sonata) introduces a superbly tender piece; the Op 3/1 Melody is the one everyone knows. Glazunov’s ‘Grand Adagio’ from Raymonda is a superb, noble way to close.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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