A whistle-stop world tour by a major violinistic talent

Nemanja Radulović, Double Sens: Roots

The Strad Issue: January 2023

Description: A whistle-stop world tour by a major violinistic talent

Musicians: Nemanja Radulović (violin) Double Sens

Works: Works by Bonfa, Colombo, Doga, Falla, Gamliel, Gang, Gardel, Hristovski, Muréna, Prado, Robin, Shelem, Soloviev-Sedoy, Stojakovic and Zhanhao

Catalogue number: WARNER CLASSICS 9029619839

Nemanja Radulović’s debut release for Warner Classics grew out of the Covid pandemic. Unable to perform his core repertoire in the normal way, he began exploring world music, and the resulting album journeys through Italy, Macedonia, Russia, Japan, Brazil and India with a joyous collection of 17 stylistically varied miniatures, supported by Double Sens (a hand-picked ensemble drawn from France and the Balkans). The playing is captured in rich, dynamically wide-ranging sound.

Albums of this kind – naming no names – can easily descend into an unintentionally caricaturised sequence of worthy attempts to ‘hang loose’ and be ‘cool’. Not here: Radulović’s silken, dreamy legato in Gardel’s Por una cabeza, possesses an alluring inner glow, voluptuously phrased, yet turn to a medley of Serbian composer Aleksandar Šisič’s folk-inflected dance melodies, and you’d be hard pressed to think it the same player.

A haunting adaptation of Chen Gang and He Zhanhao’s The Butterfly Lovers Concerto finds Radulović inflecting the oriental melody with exquisite subtlety. No less captivating is the Romani anthem Gelem, Gelem, complete with evocative vocals from Ksenija Milošević and Miloš Mihajlović.