This is a deeply personal collection from violinist Nemanja Radulovic. It’s an engaging mix of violin showpieces with traditional Serbian dances and film music sitting comfortably alongside short works by classical composers that take varying degrees of inspiration from Eastern European folk traditions. These include a Brahms Hungarian Dance, the Danse Russe from Swan Lake and the March from Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges.
Radulovic is also a great champion of somewhat neglected Georgian composer Aram Khachaturian; two of his works appear here including the famous Sabre Dance, which Radulovic plays like leaping flames. His affinity for fiery gypsy dances (there’s a lot of dancing) is clear and his playing full of passion and vigour with a raggedly emotional edge. Radulovic meanwhile is all long, wild hair, skinny black jeans and impossibly shiny boots – a compelling combination as unforced and natural as his playing.
The closing Macedonian song, Zajdi, Zajdi, Jasno Sonce, features the only vocals on the album, from the extraordinary Ksenija Milošević, a well-known Serbian violinist and singer who has made several appearances at Eurovision. It’s hard to convey in words how riveting this piece of music is; the words weep without the listener requiring any knowledge of their meaning. A stunning elegy for Radulovic’s mother, who he lost to cancer, this album is dedicated to her.