I picked up Milos Karadaglic’s latest album, The Guitar, with a mix of interest and apprehension. The interest came from the knowledge that he’s somewhat of a serious up-and-coming talent. That and the front cover shows him sitting on a beach, looking all smoldering, dark and deep in thought, rather like the classical guitar’s answer to Enrique Iglesias. Mmmmm……
Anyway, I digress!
I also bought it with a little apprehension. Aprehension because the track listing is the same or features the same, old usual suspects that are featured on a million other guitar albums. Hmmm, I thought. I’m interested to hear how he goes, but jeez I wish people would record some different repertoire….
When I listened to it, however, I was very very pleasantly surprised and rather glad that Milos could show us what he can bring to the trusted favourites. His interpretations of Asturias and Granada are delightfully delicious, extracting a clear and truly sumptuous quality of sound from his 2007 Smallman. His interpretations are not overly fussy, but not understated, his phrasing is gorgeously shaped and very natural sounding, bringing a real warmth and seeming honesty in his approach. These are interpretations where the musician’s communication really shines through.
It is his interpreatation of Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba that really does it for me though. Milos’ interpretation is hauntingly beautiful, particularly the Moderato and Cantabile sections. He seems so at home with this music and that comes right through in this recording. I would even dare to say I prefer this interpretation to Williams’……..ooh controversial.
So who is Milos Karadaglic?
He was born in Montenegro in 1983 and grew up during the time of the Balkan civil war. Miloš began playing the guitar at the age of eight and very quickly won national recognition for his performances. At 16 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music where, after graduating with First Class Honours, he went on to complete a Masters degree in Performance.
Milos’ engagements have included solo recital debuts at the Wigmore Hall in London and the Lucerne Festival and concerto debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Other appearances have included the Cheltenham and Spitalfields Festivals, the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad and the 2010 iTunes Festival in London – the first time the festival had staged a classical event.
In July 2010 he signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The Guitar is his first recording, which is a two disc set complete with DVD doco and music clips. In true Margaret and David style, I give this album 4.5 stars out of 5 – a great introduction for those just encountering or not so familiar with the guitar. It is also a fantastic addition for the discerning guitar fan’s collection. Milos has proven without doubt that he bring something special to our well-known repertoire. I can’t wait to see what he brings to us next.