Nemanja Radulovic – Paganini Fantasy (2013) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Nemanja Radulovic – Paganini Fantasy (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 01:03:28 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon

When Nemanja Radulović was asked the reason why he chose Paganini for this new record, he didn’t hesitate in giving this simple answer: “To change his image a little, and show that he’s more than the virtuoso composer.” For while Paganini indeed owes his reputation to his unrivalled instrumental technique, in his music Nemanja Radulović also sees a composer who enabled violinists to feel closer to the human voice. “With all the phrasing that he wrote in this concerto, for example, I really had the impression that I was in an opera; I had the different Acts, and I could imagine the sopranos, the tenors…” Nemanja enthusiastically underlines the extreme musical richness in Paganini; he vaunts his particularly vivid, realistic writing, tinted with nostalgia and melancholy, yet also capable of expressing happiness.

“He was extraordinary as an artist,” went on Nemanja Radulović. Not only in his virtuosity, but also in his music’s ability to leave no-one indifferent, “It’s music that needs to be communicated. You can’t play it just for yourself. It really talks to everyone. It’s important to just let yourself go, as soon as you play that first note; you have to give it everything you have,” explained Nemanja, emphasizing the human aspect of the music on one hand, and also its very difficult side where one has to resist until the very end. This is music which drives limits back.

Paganini, obviously, will always remain associated with the 24 Caprices he composed. “At some point, every violinist confronts at least one of these Caprices,” stresses Radulović, who admits to working on them almost every day: he chooses one or two of them, and they accompany him for several weeks. It’s his way of keeping his left hand in shape.

For this record, Nemanja has recorded the Caprices numbers 5, 11 and 24. These are the ones which have left the deepest impressions on him in concerts, but also during his studies and in competitions. He also likes the parallel drawn between their keys: C major for N°11, A minor for N°5 and N°24. The record begins with the 5th, a Caprice which Nemanja sees as a challenge: to reach its conclusion. “You don’t want to let go; it all goes so fast!” N°11 makes him think of Bach, “a very lyrical overture, with great chords.” As for the 24th, which closes his programme here, it is the most well-known: “The theme has been picked up by an enormous number of composers. It’s already a kind of rhapsody variation,” comments Nemanja, who also chose to include the Moses Fantasy, the famous Variation on the G String; this work also takes him back to his childhood, more precisely to his first international competition in Stresa, Italy. He was nine years old. It was the first time that he played Paganini… And incidentally, he’s found a video of that competition: “It’s quite funny seeing a little kid playing this piece. When you’re a child, you don’t ask yourself half as many questions. When you’re nine years old, the aspects that are a bit technical and virtuoso, they all go down rather well. But afterwards, when you’re a teenager at the Conservatory, that’s when it becomes a lot more difficult,” remembers Nemanja. This version of Moses Fantasy was recorded with pianist Laure Favre-Khan and the string-ensemble Les Trilles du Diable, over an arrangement by the composer Aleksandar Sedlar. This record is also about fidelity: Nemanja Radulović has been playing with the Trilles du Diable and Laure Favre-Kahn for a decade… As for Aleksandar Sedlar, he wrote Spring in Japan 2011, the fifth season of Nemanja‘s previous recording.

Nor was the choice of Japanese conductor Eiji Oue a coincidence. Their meeting dates back to Nemanja‘s last competition — in Hannover, the day was his 18th birthday — and the programme was the concerto by Beethoven. Since then, both artists have appeared together: “He gives everything; he’s one of those conductors who are today the greatest, because they go beyond conducting the orchestra. He makes me play, and he makes each and every instrument play, right down to the last,” explains Nemanja. Together with the RAI Orchestra they chose the Concerto N°1, precisely the concerto where Nemanja could particularly feel that extraordinary proximity between the violin and the human voice. (Text by Jean-Michel Dhuez)

01. Paganini: 24 Caprices for Violin, Op.1-Caprice No. 5
02. Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1 in D, Op.6-1. Allegro maestoso
03. Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1 in D, Op.6-2. Adagio
04. Paganini: Violin Concerto No.1 in D, Op.6-3. Rondo (Allegro spirituoso)
05. Paganini: Cantabile-Cantabile
06. Paganini: 24 Caprices for Violin, Op.1-Caprice No. 11
07. Paganini: Sonate No.12
08. Paganini: Moses Fantasy
09. Paganini: 24 Caprices for Violin, Op.1-Caprice No. 24

Nemanja Radulovic, violin
Laure Favre-Kahn, piano
Les Trilles du diable:
Guillaume Fontanarosa, violin
Frédéric Dessus, violin
Bertrand Causse, alto
Anne Causse, violoncelle
Stanislas Kuchinski, double bass
RAI National Symphony Orchestra