Tim Ashley Guardian 10 January 2013
“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.”
Tim Ashley is a Guardian classical and opera critic, though he’s also keen on literature and philosophy so you might sometimes find him cross-referencing all three. His work has also appeared in Literary Review and Opera magazine and he is author of a biography of Richard Strauss.