The Strad Issue: January 2012
Description: A highly personal approach to Vivaldi’s famous concertos
Musicians: Nemanja Radulovi? (violin) Double Sens*, The Devil’s Trills†
Composer: Vivaldi & Sedlar
Nemanja Radulovi?’s performance of The Four Seasons comes as much from the heart as it does from the printed page. He often toys with rhythms and tempos, dynamics are taken to such extremes that at times the music become just audible, and mood swings from pensiveness to mercurial vivacity happen in the twinkling of an eye.
You could hardly quibble at the technical brilliance he brings to the music, ‘Summer’ being an example of his left-hand alacrity as he drives tempos forwards at a breathless pace. Then, just when you expect rhythms to be highly stressed in the finale of ‘Autumn’, the performance becomes soft-grained. For my library I would always opt for safety with the excellent Andrew Manze and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Warner), but with the 15 members of Double Sens playing with admirable unity, Radulovi? certainly captures the attention.
Aleksandar Sedlar’s Spring in Japan portrays the great earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, and the work moves from the sounds of popular music to suggest the agony of the event. A smaller string group, The Devil’s Trills, ably conjures up the appropriate sounds. Up-front recorded balance gives suitable priority to Radulovi?.