Miloš Karadaglić

Mediterráneo

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Milos is Milos Karadaglic, a guitarist from Montenegro. The southern Slavic countries have produced quite a number of guitarists, but Milos is the first to get a marketing push from a major label, complete with graphics showing the unshaven, barefoot guitarist ruminating moodily on a beach. He was trained in London and has cited Julian Bream as an inspiration, if not an influence, and there is something of Bream in his technically crisp, straightforward playing. Mediterráneo is his debut album, and the program includes some of the standards you would expect from a young guitarist's first outing: Spanish pictorial works from Francisco Tárrega and transcriptions of famous short piano works by Isaac Albéniz and Enriqué Granados. But a couple of factors set this release apart from the common run of solo guitar albums. First is the program, which is generally well put together, alternating effectively between fireworks and reflections, and reflecting the stated Mediterranean theme. At the center is a contemporary Italian work, Koyunbaba, Op. 19, by Carlo Domeniconi. This four-movement piece evokes a Turkish legend about sheep herding and fuses European and Turkish melodic idioms. It's an absolute tour de force for the guitar, full of technical devices that come from outside the usual Spanish contexts. It's not an unknown piece, but it probably qualifies as underexposed. There are also a pair of short pieces by Mikis Theodorakis. The other major attraction here is the sound, which is the bugaboo in so many small-label guitar recordings: either the guitarist sounds as if placed on a box, or you hear every slide of finger and rustle of breath. Milos is miked close up in Deutsche Grammophone's recording, executed at London's Air Studios, but it is never overbearing; it's absolutely ideal. The classical world is in need of its next star, and it just may have found him.

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