On October 13th, The Sony Record Label released a new recording by the celebrated Montenegrin Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić. Simply titled “Baroque” this CD explores the magic and the wonder of baroque music. The centerpiece of the recording is Bach’s monumental D minor Chaconne from the 2nd sonata for solo violin arranged for guitar by Miloš himself. Other works on the recording consist of music by Vivaldi, Weiss, Scarlatti, Marcello amongst others.
For Miloš, the desire to record a CD of baroque music is something he is deeply passionate about. As he explains, “Baroque music is such a treasure chest of wonderful jewels of music! There is no flavor… no color that doesn’t exist there. I remain fascinated every time I perform this music how current…how appropriate and real and relatable it feels to a 21st century ear. It just feels like this music is timeless…and people just feel it. It is the music of emotions somehow…”
Almost all of the music on “Baroque” has been arranged for guitar by Miloš or his close friend and former teacher Michael Lewin. When it came to choosing repertoire, Miloš used his own intuition to decide on what would be arranged and recorded. “I used my internal compass…following the gut feeling of what music made me feel connected and alive and kicking.”
Notably, Miloš has recorded an arrangement of the first and third movements from Vivaldi’s concerto for four violins RV 580 from his collection of concertos known as the “L’estro armonico” The arrangement was made by Lewin, and incorporates all four of the solo violin parts in the guitar transcription. Ultimately the challenges that this created were trumped by Miloš’ sheer desire to make music and express something. As Miloš explains “It presented many challenges, but I never wanted them [the challenges] to present compromises…because in music there is no compromising. There is just the real thing or not…you either do it or you don’t.”
The centerpiece to the recording is Bach’s monumental D minor Chaconne from his 2nd sonata originally for solo violin. Miloš describes the Chaconne as if it is the sun to the album, and every other piece on the album radiates outward from that. “Bach is the essence of Baroque music. It’s a starting point from then on to everything that follows…it’s sort of the beginning and the end of it all.”
The transcription of the Bach Chaconne is Miloš’ own, and the performance on the album shows how much he not only understands the notes and voice leading that Bach intended; but also the overall vaulting architecture of the piece. The recording has all of the gravitas and glory that you would hear if it were played on regular violin by a great violin virtuoso. It is truly remarkable.
The CD brings the listener through a wondrous journey of Baroque era Europe with Vivaldi and Bach, but also through the individually expressive worlds of Rameau, Marcello, and the often unjustly overlooked lute virtuoso and composer Sylvius Leopold Weiss. All of his music performed by a musician who is truly a master of his instrument. Miloš uses the guitar to put his own emotional stamp on the music, while at the same time capturing the beauty and expressive depth of the composer’s music that is truly singular. The CD “Baroque” is the complete and total package…or perhaps maybe we should say the complete and total treasure chest of jewels.
LISTEN TO HOST CHRIS WOLF'S CONVERSATION WITH MILOŠ HERE: