Mediterraneo (CD review)

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.


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Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer

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.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For over 20 years I was the editor of The $ensible Sound magazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me--point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.

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Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst

I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

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