Hideko Udagawa

Hideko Udagawa

& Boris Berezovsky

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Violin Sonata and Dances

(Nimbus Alliance)

IT'S ironic that Georgia's greatest tunesmith, Aram Khachaturian, wrote two of the best-known pieces on the planet - the Sabre Dance and the dreamy, luscious Grand Adagio from Spartacus - yet the majority of the music-loving population wouldn't recognise another bit of Khachaturian if they fell over it. A two-trick pony then? Not really; just a bit short on consistent championship. This CD of Khachaturian's violin music, along with some transcriptions, heads off in a different direction, looking for the wellspring and source of the inspiration in his youthful efforts. It's hardly electrifying, but interesting to hear some Ravel-like touches and immense gypsy influences in these earliest of his dance pieces, in their rhythmic and rhapsodic qualities; and that feel seeps into even the slow movement of his 1932 Sonata, extending to the piano accompaniment. Hideko Udagawa's playing doesn't fully pick up on that sense of freedom, but Boris Berezovsky's accompaniments are electric in their immediacy.

Michael Tumelty