sat 22/02/2020

Miloš Karadaglić, Birmingham Town Hall review - flashy and fierce, with exquisite detail | reviews, news & interviews

Miloš Karadaglić, Birmingham Town Hall review - flashy and fierce, with exquisite detail

Miloš Karadaglić, Birmingham Town Hall review - flashy and fierce, with exquisite detail

Triumphant solo performance from virtuoso guitarist

The guitarist known as Miloš: exquisitely detailed ornamentationLars Borges

Dubbed “classical music’s guitar hero”, the 36-year-old London based Montenegrin guitarist  Miloš Karadaglić – more commonly known by just his first name – is back on the international stage. He returned in 2019 after a devastating hand injury which led him to take time out from playing professionally around the time of the launch of his 2016 release Blackbird: The Beatles Album. Playing to a packed out Birmingham Town Hall on Tuesday evening, he clearly delighted fans with his return. 

He opened his recital with his own transcription of Bach’s Suite in C minor, originally written for lute. The intricate detail of the Praeludium didn’t detract from its serenity, and the subtle rubato in the Sarabande commanded an almost complete stillness from the audience (though some seasonal coughs and colds were unfortunately audibly present). The final movement had a refined lilt to it, though it maybe could have done with a bit more swagger, even if that was at the expense of some of the exquisitely detailed ornamentation. 

Interspersing his first two sets with what he described as a “palate cleanser”, Miloš gave a romantic rendition of Francisco Tárrega’s 16 bar miniature Lágrima (teardrop). Inspired by the Spanish composer’s visit to a rainy London, this sweet little interlude seamlessly took the audience to the music of fellow Spaniards Enrique Granados and Isaac Albéniz. Playing two movements from Granados’s Danzas españolas, “Andaluza” was fierce and fiery with swathes of orchestral colour, while “Oriental” was peaceful and contemplative. Ending the first half with “Asturias – Leyenda” from Albéniz’s Cantos de España, Miloš’s sparky flamenco playing was flashy, tight and controlled. 

The racing rhythms in Mathias Duplessy's 'Cavalcade' were exciting, yet meticulously mappedOpening the second half with five preludes by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Miloš perfectly captured the shifts in rhythm and mood, ending with a tender, romantic feel. He then moved on to a trio of songs by the Beatles – “Blackbird”, “Yesterday” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – all arranged by the Brazilian guitarist, composer and arranger Sérgio Assad. Having originally dismissed the music of the Fab Four as “silly pop songs”,the guitarist came to discover their depths through arrangements of their works by Toru Takemitsu, encountered while Miloš was studying at the Royal Academy of Music. His elaborate performance of “Blackbird” was gorgeous, with an astonishing array of simultaneous dynamics to the piece’s varying voices, and his lush ornamentation in “Yesterday” really brought out the flavour of the harmonies. 

Miloš saved the best until last though, with a driven rendition of French composer Mathias Duplessy’s Cavalcade, a piece he only encountered by chance two months ago! The racing rhythms in this bracing work were exciting, yet meticulously mapped, proving we’ve not yet seen the best of this virtuoso guitarist.

'Blackbird' brought an astonishing array of simultaneous dynamics to the piece’s varying voices

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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