It’s a bit perplexing with an instrument as popular as the classical guitar is, that not more young aspiring “Julian Breams” are out in the world strumming their way to stardom. Startling as it may be, the field is quite sparse with few standouts that come to mind, and those that do are hardly worth a mention compared to the legendary names that made the instrument what it is today. Other issues stems from the fact that most classical guitar repertoire is just not that exciting either due in part to the music arranger or the guitarist’s hands themselves. Thus is not the case with Miloš Karadaglić, probably the instrument’s best and only hope in quite some time to raise the profile of the art. His new record Canción is game-changer for the classical guitar in that its bold and appealing, sexy and romantic, and above all else – fun.
Much of what you hear on Canción oozes a musty, masculinity but familiar feel. 13 tracks that are provoking in thought and rhythm, for once actually make the classical guitar feel relatable and somehow…reborn. But despite all the fancy handwork and playful masquerades, Canción carries a sense of nostalgia that pays great homage to the iconic classical guitarist throughout and reminds us why the instrument was once so popular in the first place.
What might be offsetting to classical guitar stalwarts is Canción‘s incredibly wide appeal which is clearly broader than the form has ever been. Bossa Nova lovers are sure to find some dynamite in the hills with Karadaglić’s beachy rendition of “The Girl from Ipanema,” bright and crisp with every dancing note, while his performance of “Quizas, Quizas Quizas,” romantic and sultry in its movement represents the beauty of the instrument’s honest simplicity.
Canción is not a showing of flash, but more so a cultivated and defined technique that Karadaglić has mastered in crafting energetic and warm tones. None are more telling of Karadaglić’s exceptional skills than the track “De Ushuaia a la Quiaca,” where he presents the darkest imagery off the album and never once letting himself go off the rails in pushing the aggression of the piece. Nor too is the twelfth track “Aria Cantilena,” the only track with vocals on the album, in which Karadaglić goes deep into the rabbit hole of solitude with a moving recording, simple and pure in nature but unforgiving and devilishly sinful. But knowing its bread and butter well, Canción will thrive most on the tracks that quite frankly bring the rambunctious fun, namely Karadaglić’s take on “Fandango,” “Libertango,” and Ravel’s ever-the-so spirited “Bolero.”
A budding classical guitarist that despite numerous accolades, has for the most part treaded under the radar, Karadaglić is possibly the most skilled plucker that has found just the right amount of balance between theatrical flair and sizzling, charismatic allure. Canción demonstrates Karadaglić’s ability not only to command the flow of notes off the pages but to literally have them dance in ways classical guitar enthusiasts would have never thought possible.
Canción brings back the joy and allure the classical guitar long ago once helmed but modernizes it for a new age. For once in the last twenty years the instrument has a figure that can it can claim as a “star,” and in Miloš Karadaglić the art form not only holds a bonafide keyholder but a rightful trustee in bringing it back to prominence. Miloš Karadaglić dazzles with utter brilliance on Canción that its practically a warp to another mindset of sensory euphoria.
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