MILOS KARADAGLIC Latino Gold CD + DVD 4791402

I was impressed by the subtle and mature performances -- first rate in every sense. Put me on the list of Milos fans, for he won me over . . . This guitarist does not go for a cheap ride on the backs of well-loved numbers, but gives us a thoughtful presentation, where each next piece seems to outdo the one before it. It is difficult to stop listening. The fast numbers have good drive and energy, while the slow ones are lyrical and contemplative. The arrangements are done inventively, and so one meets new delights in the places where one expected to see just the old familiar faces . . . [on "Libertango" the guitar] unselfishly gives the stage to violin and accordion, who do the singing, but the guitar definitely sets the colors. The arrangement is raw, the pulse is strong, Piazzolla's dark passion throbs, and I wish it all lasted longer . . . This may reduce the "guitarism" of the disc, but it is good for the presentation of the music, and that's what I like here: it is a showcase for the music, not just for the guitarist. Overall, the arrangements with orchestra are elegant and are not overdone. "Quizás, quizás, quizás" is realized as a tender rumba, swaying sensually. In "Oblivion" the guitar drops the notes, which hang in the air like involuntary tears . . . The sound of the guitar is full and well captured . . . He has good control over dynamic nuances and subtle shades, which makes pieces like "Somos Novios" really breathe . . . The high point of the album is Villa Lobos' "Cantilena" where the guitar assumes the role of all the cellos, and Anna Prohaska sings magically. It makes for expressive and intimate music-making. Prohaska's voice is captured beautifully by the recording engineers . . . [a short and effective arrangement of Ravel's "Bolero"] serves as a big exclamation mark to end the programme . . . The arrangements of the popular songs are done in a sensitive and musically engaging way. The guitarist is devoted and persuasive, with evident good taste and style. He approaches more "serious" works with reverence yet without servility. The acoustics are exemplary.