4@LL Classics ARTACT AR 001 (www.4allclassics.com)
There is a desperately fine yet crucial line between on the one hand finding something genuinely fresh and original to say, and publicity-seeking posturing designed to court notoriety on the other. If this triumphant ‘live’ album is anything to go by, Nemanja Radulovic never comes even close to crossing that line. He produces an exquisitely pure, small-scale sound – interestingly there is nothing here by the composer he seems born to play: Mozart – and phrases with a ravishing vocal quality that makes everything feel compellingly inevitable. There are pieces here – the Schubert A major Rondo and Tchaikovsky Mélodie, for example – which have rarely been treated to such an exquisite range of supple shading and dynamics.
All of this would go for nothing if there wasn’t such a profound sense of Radulovic playing ‘in the zone’. Such well-worn favourites as Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro, Liebesleid and Schön Rosmarin emerge here with a winning freshness and charm that the composer himself would surely have relished. Even the notorious ‘Devil’s Trill’ Sonata comes surging off the fingerboard with a joie de vivre to match Szeryng (RCA) and Perlman (EMI) in overdrive. The effect is further enhanced by string quintet accompaniments of great flair and élan, and sumptuous engineering.
From the February 2010 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.