Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić Fends Off Sophomore Slump with 'Pasion'

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Miloš Karadaglic Miloš Karadaglic (© Olaf Heine / Deutsche Grammophon)

Any artist with a successful debut album fears what's next: the notorious sophomore slump. When it's the product of a serious major-label marketing push, the pressure to prove yourself is even more daunting. That's why Miloš Karadaglić's second album, “Pasion,” is a pleasant surprise. The guitarist explores a wide breadth of Latin American music, including core classical repertoire by Villa-Lobos and Ponce, tangos by Piazzolla and Gardel and other works from Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay.

Karadaglić was born in Montenegro in 1983 and studied classical guitar at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He eventually caught the attention of Deutsche Grammophon, which signed him up and released his first album, “Mediterraneo,” which spent much of last year at the top of the classical album charts. It doesn't hurt that his album covers play up his heartthrob looks, something you may also notice from his WQXR Café Concert, taped last year.

For "Pasion" he’s shifted his focus and built an altogether heftier program. Villa-Lobos’s Prelude No. 1, composed for Andrés Segovia, is performed with clarity and poise as well as an expressive rubato. The same composer’s Mazurka-Chôro gently fuses elements of Brazilian street music and European dance forms. Another treat is Argentine-born Jorge Morel’s supple, energetic Danza brasilera.

Contemporary pieces on the album include a Milonga by Argentine composer Jorge Cardoso and Un día de noviembre by the prolific Cuban composer Leo Brouwer. But Karadaglić doesn’t give short shrift to the popular Latin standards. There's Piazzolla’s classics Libertango and Oblivion, Gardel’s Por una cabeza (as seen in “Scent of a Woman”) and Rodríguez’s La cumparsita, also familiar from television and film. Backing the guitarist on several tracks is the Studioorchester der Europäischen FilmPhilharmonie.

'Pasion' (this album goes by the title 'Latino' outside the U.S.)
Milos, guitar
Studioorchester der Europäischen FilmPhilharmonie
Deutsche Grammophon
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Comments [5]

Edmond Dantès

Not many classical players would have the courage of messing around with the rhythms in a established piece such as the first Villa-Lobos prelude. This is a favorite among guitar student and they all play it as in the published score. Miloš Karadaglić skillfully twists the rhythmic pattern of the first section making it sound like some sort of Montenegrin samba.

Aug. 05 2013 11:20 AM
Michael Meltzer

One has to get used to WQXR's learning curve. After three years, the new management has finally learned that there was a guitarist named Julian Bream, whose recordings are probably represented in their archive en toto, and that there is another John Williams who is not a pops conductor.
I'm still waiting for organ recordings of E. Power Biggs, as well as his magnificent organ & brass arrangements. I've learned not to hold my breath, or I'd be dead.
I don't have the living space to take my LP's out of storage, but I'm going to do it anyway. There's no other way to hear good music.

Jul. 12 2012 08:43 PM
Neil Schnall

Opinions differ. Perhaps Mr. Hanechak should be less credulous. Mr. Spurgeon is just doing the job he's being paid to do, sell whatever WQXR is selling.

As for Miloš Karadaglić, both of his albums have been "selected" by WQXR as "Album of the Week". He was also featured in a recent cover story in Gramophone magazine (UK). Congratulations to his publicity agent and/or DG!

Jul. 12 2012 12:13 PM
Paul M. from Somerset, New Jersey

I disagree with Mr. Hanechak's comment. I purchased Milos' first album and thoroughly enjoyed it! I would recommend it to anyone. I look forward to hearing his new album.

Jul. 11 2012 01:41 PM
Richard Hanechak from Queens, NY

Jeff Spurgeon praised Milos as a breathtaking guitar talent.
I made the mistake of believing him.
What I have have heard is not very good, not inspired, inspirational or original in performance or approach.
Perhaps Mr. Spurgeon should be less effusive in his praise.

Jul. 10 2012 08:05 AM

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The Albums of the Week are compelling new recordings that we spotlight every week. These include creative repertoire choices, engaging musical personalities and artistic statements that stand out from the pack. You can hear the Albums of the Week throughout the day and evening on WQXR.