"Ever since I can remember I was singing and dancing and doing stuff in front of people, I was always a bit of a show-off," recalls Miloš Karadaglić, "and then I remembered that there was a guitar at home and nobody played it. For me that was a good enough reason to ask to play the guitar. And I felt, I have a good voice, I'll play the guitar, I'll sing songs, I'll be popular at school as a result of that, so that's how it started."
That's how the young Miloš talked his father into enrolling him at a special music school in his homeland of Montenegro, a small, turbulent country in the Balkans. While at school he discovered the focus was classical music, not the Beatles. His interest began to wane, until his father pulled an old recording off the shelf. "One day when I came back from school, he invited me to listen to something. and he played this record and Segovia played the Albeniz Asturias, and it was the most wonderful and powerful experience of my life up to that point, because it sounded so different and so foreign and so wonderful and so incredible. I was completely enchanted by this sound and this instrument. And yes, I kept going and very quickly my fingers started to fly and it started to be a very enjoyable ride." At 29, Miloš continues that adventure on his second solo recording titled Pasión, which takes us on a tour through Latin America.
Several pieces on this new release were written specifically for the legendary Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia, including Chanson, by Manuel Ponce. "That one, and Un Sueño by Barrios are probably the two deepest and most profound works on the recording." Miloš explains, "With Un Sueño, I played it for many years and it's my piece, but with the Chanson, it was this video which I found. Segovia was already very, very old. There was a video of him in front of this big fireplace, blackandwhite, and he was playing this piece. The connection with every note, and this poetry of the sound and approach and attack to the string — it's just magical as always with Segovia, but here even more because he worked with Ponce and they were good friends."
Miloš learned Un Sueño by Barrios when he was still a student. He keeps returning to this piece because the shimmering tremolo effect allows him to be swept away to another place. Composers like Francisco Tárrega established the basics for this technique, but it was Barrios who took it to a new level. "And in Un Sueño, it is probably the most complex tremolo work of all the repertoire. So playing it is a technical challenge. But at the same time he wrote a piece which is so magical and so deep and wonderful that you just have to forget about the technicality of it and just follow your heart with it and get into the piece the right way, the musical way."
Nothing could be closer to the people than the music that almost defines this world — the tango. Libertango by Astor Piazolla opens this new recording. Milos was first introduced to the tango when he traveled to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music at age 16. Twice a term the students chose their own repertoire to play in chamber music concerts. "So often we just wanted to play Piazzola," he recalls, "because it just felt so free, and so wonderful. And you know, when you are 19, 20, 21, your hormones are really high and Piazzolla's music is very sexy!"
Probably the most famous tango in the world, according to Milos, is one written by Matos Rodriguez, La Cumparsita. "When you say tango, you think ya-ta-TAAH-ta" (and he sings the familiar tune).
There have been many, many arrangements of this piece for guitar. And because it was so famous I wanted to have fun with that and maybe take a more avant-garde approach." So Milos approached composer/guitarist Stephen Goss and asked him to give this tango a fresh approach. It opens with dissonant chords that clash. "So when you start doing it, everyone goes like, oh my god, are these the wrong notes? No, clearly they are not. It's just the way that he wrote it, it's much more avant-garde in style. And for that I like it!"
As you listen to Pasión, the second solo recording by Miloš Karadaglić, you'll find plenty to enjoy — from tour de force showstoppers to contemplative works that transport you to another world.
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