Asked why he has chosen to tackle music by Bach for his new album, the violinist Nemanja Radulović might almost hesitate before answering, so self-evident does his reply appear to him and so natural is the affinity that he feels for Bach. For him, the present recording is the logical successor to his two previous releases: in the wake of Vivaldi and his project The Five Seasons, he continues his personal exploration of the Baroque repertory with his ensemble Double Sens; and, like Journey East, this recording, too, represents a reflection on his own particular roots – in this case, his musical roots. The three words that recur here with leitmotivic regularity are: roots, loyalties and families.
Roots. It all started with Bach. As with so many other musicians, Bach remains bound up with Nemanja Radulović’s earliest musical memories as a violinist, for even as a boy in Belgrade, he was already working on this repertory, in particular the Sonatas and Partitas, movements from which he has included in the present CD. Here pride of place goes to the Chaconne, which is the piece he prefers above all – alongside the Beethoven Violin Concerto, he adds by way of an explanation. The concertos, too, were a part of Radulović ’s repertory before he moved with his family to France. On the present release he is partnered by Tijana Milošević in the Double Violin Concerto BWV 1043. She was already appearing with him in this work while they were students at the Belgrade Conservatory. Nemanja also worked on the Viola Concerto in C minor attributed for a time to Johann Christian Bach – he learnt to play both the viola and the cello while he was still living in Belgrade, but he had to put them to one side when he entered the Paris Conservatoire in order to concentrate on the violin. This is the first time that Nemanja Radulović has returned to the viola for the purposes of a recording.