• chrisdumigan

Milos : The Moon and the Forest : CD

TALBOT: Ink Dark Moon – Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra : EINAUDI : Full Moon (Arr Michael Lewin) : SHORE : The Forest – Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra : SCHUMANN: Kinderszenen Op15 – Traumerei ( Arr Lewin)

Milos Karadaglic with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ben Gernon and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Alexander Shelley

Decca: LC00171

Milos, who has fast become one of the world’s most well – known classical guitarists is back with an album of two new guitar concertos by renowned film composers, Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) and Joby Talbot (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Sing) and also two solo arrangements by Michael Lewin of Ludovico Einaudi's Full Moon and Robert Schumann's Traumerei, both originally solo piano pieces.

Joby Talbot’s three movement concerto is a real find. As you might expect the sound world reminded me instantly of film music (in the nicest possible way!) and it instantly captures the listener, as it is so different from almost any other concerto for guitar I can think of, very melodic utterly gripping in its harmonic world and a great piece of music that I would love to see live with the full orchestra, which for this concerto is the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Ben Gernon’s baton. There are a number of different sections to each of the three movements but its 23 + minutes is one that every guitar lover will enjoy hearing, so original is it, and wow! What a fabulous and exciting ending too!

Ludovico Einaudi’s piano music has become very popular and to be quite honest I have personally failed to see why, as it seems to work on the principle of find a chord or a little phrase and repeat it ad infinitum, with little or no development. As it turns out, this little piece is quite enjoyable and works very well on the guitar without appearing too minimalistic.

Howard Shore’s 21 - minute, 3 – movement concerto The Forest is every bit as intriguing and captivating as Joby Talbot’s concerto. It made me wonder why we haven’t asked other film composers to write for the guitar, (for example wouldn’t a guitar concerto by the legendary film composer John Williams be something? If only! ) The opening movement has a lot of action and the guitar hardly seems to stop racing around for a lot of the time, but the orchestral sound behind is very full and there is a lot of interaction between the soloist and the orchestra throughout it. The second movement is suddenly still, with sustained high strings at the start underpinning the quietness of the soloist. Gradually things pick up and the orchestra becomes more involved in the piece until a loud and sudden chord from the orchestra takes the movement to another level entirely, before dropping back to a quiet continuation, which however does involve a lot of thematic interaction and crossing over from soloist to the orchestra and back .Again there is no denying that the composer writes film music as it again sounds a lot of the time like a film soundtrack and a wonderful one at that! After the quiet close to the 2nd, comes the final movement that starts with castanets and some slightly mysterious chords before the guitar enters with a rocking motif over sustained orchestral chords. Then the rasgueado chords enter, and one almost gets a Spanish feel to it for the first time until things quieten down again somewhat. However that is only momentary as the chords return and the music gets very loud and climactic. Howard Shore’s harmonic world is much more complex than you might think, but everything is tonal throughout. The end of the movement arrives, and somewhat surprisingly it begins very quietly before a final climactic and extended chord from everyone involved brings this fine work to a close. Again this concerto is a real find and something to cherish. Now, I want to see a concert with both concertos begin played for that would be really something! The recital closes with Schumann’s famous Traumerei, short sweet and a nice relaxing ending to what is one of the best guitar CDs I have heard in ages. Milos’ playing is exceptional and the sound is very close and keeps you interested throughout. This is DEFINITELY one to get!

Chris Dumigan

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