Milos Karadaglic, guitar. DG B0015579-02.
There appears to be a renaissance of some kind going on in the recording of classical guitar music. Following hard on the heels of Scottish guitarist David Russell's album of music by Albeniz comes this new release of Mediterranean music from Montenegrin guitarist Milos Karadoglic. Both discs are almost equally rewarding.
Milos's album begins on familiar ground with Isaac Albeniz's "Asturias" in a smooth, effortless performance of music with a strong Spanish flavor. Milos (who apparently prefers the first name only, which I hope does not become an affection as with Liberace, Cher, or Kennedy) plays with great tenderness. Indeed, it is this "heart" that permeates all the music on the disc.
The rest of the tracks follow suit. Tarrega's celebrated "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" practically brings tears to one's eyes. Then, more Albeniz and Tarrega follow--"Sevilla" and "Lagrima"--again played for maximum emotional effect. This is, after all, music that most touch the senses, and it is in this regard that Milos scores most heavily, above and beyond the virtuosic finger work on display.
When Milos is performing live, he says "it's close to dreaming for me--afterwards I don't remember much about it. I just remember feeling very well, with a high level of energy and emotion." That sentiment might just as well describe his studio music making here.
Milos then turns to an anonymous "Romance," accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, that is quite lovely, succeeded by more Tarrega and Albeniz. By the second half of the program, he's into music by Italian guitarist Carlo Domeniconi, Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, Spanish guitarist Miguel LLobet, and Spanish composer Enrique Granados, all of the music chosen for its subtle, dreamy, nostalgic, sentimental, sometimes vibrant, sometimes melancholy virtues. For using largely quiet, meditative music, Milos produces a surprising variety of moods.
The sound, recorded by DG in London, 2010, is both resonant and refined. While it isn't quite as closely miked or as brilliantly transparent as Telarc's sound for David Russell, DG create a warm, relaxing sonic experience that closely matches Milos's ultrasmooth playing style.
About the Author
Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.
Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.
When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.
So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.
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