dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
From Bach to The Beatles
Montenegran guitarist Milos Karadaglic is equally at home with the great composers like Rodrigo as with modern pop music and his recital at Birmingham's Town Hall ensured the audience was quickly aware of the eclectic mix of his talent.
To begin with, Karadaglic went back to one of the stalwarts of the classical canon J S Bach and performed his Suite in C minor. Originally composed in the 18th century for lute, in Karadaglic's hands it sounded surprisingly contemporary.
The concert also took us to Spain, the home of great guitar music, for two lively Danzas Espanolas by Granados and, in a change from the advertised programme, the Danza de la Molinera from Manuel de Falla's ballet El Sombrero de Tres Picos.
And to Brazil where Heitor Villa-Lobos' Five Preludes evokes the spirit of this South American country from the fun of the carnival to the longing of those who lived in the land before the arrival of the Conquistadors.
Karadaglic explained to the audience that he was first introduced to playing solo guitar versions of Beatles' tracks when he began studying at the Royal Academy of Music. He confessed that when his professor first asked him to practice Yesterday he was underwhelmed – until he began to play it and then realised the many colours of the piece when played on the guitar. His love for The Beatles' music resulted in his 2016 album Blackbird – The Beatles Album and he shared three of the Fab Four's tracks with the audience – Blackbird, Yesterday and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
For his grand finale, Karadaglic chose a contemporary composer who would have been new to many in the audience – Mathias Duplessy. Karadaglic said he had only discovered Duplessy recently but loved the fact the French composer gave musicians an opportunity to really play the guitar for all it is worth. His Cavalcade in D minor was short but certainly sweet.
Karadaglic also treated the audience to two small pieces by Tarrega and returned for an encore of Over the Rainbow. Paying tribute to the wonderful surroundings of Birmingham Symphony Hall, Karadaglic also thanked the audience for making him feel 'part of the family'. From the amount of applause he received, he's clearly a family member who is likely to be invited back.