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I went to this concert yesterday and here are my thoughts:-
This was a superb concert, one of the best I’ve seen in many years. He played technically flawlessly and very expressively, with a directness that made you feel he was playing to each one of us alone. His guitar spoke and the music breathed. He used space in a magical way that heightened the tension in the hall. Nothing sounded forced or contrived - the music just naturally flowed out of him. Most of the programme was filled with guitar “standards”, as these are on his first CD with Deutsche Grammophon, but although these pieces are best sellers, I believe he also plays them because he loves them.
He began with Albeniz’s Asturias and this was played with fire and passion, which was quelled by a sweet performance of Granada. Two pieces from Epitaphios (No.3 and 4) by Theodorakis followed, and these were romantic in style and very pleasant. Next, the rather agitated moods within Rodrigo’s Invocacion y Danza were brought home with a punch. He finished the first half with a rousing performance of Albeniz’s Sevilla.
The second half began with a slowish Capricho Arabe that was full of rubato, bringing out the freedom inherent in the piece. He then played Lagrima, something I’ve never heard in a professional concert, but he doesn’t need virtuosic passages to impress an audience and played this beautifully. Recuerdos de la Alhambra was up next. Personally, I felt the tremolo sounded a little hurried, (and that’s my only criticism of the entire concert), but there was much feeling in the performance. Granados’ Spanish Dances No.5 (Andaluza) and No.2 (Oriental) followed and the different moods between these pieces were contrasted very well. For me, the highlight of the concert was the final piece: Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba Suite, which was played with technical brilliance, passion and drive – it was as if he put everything he had into it. The audience became excited and quite a few were moved to stand up as they clapped. He closed with an understated encore, El Testament d’Amelia.
After the concert there was a buzz in the foyer, the like of which I’ve never experienced at a classical concert and the 60 CDs available were all gone by the time I’d got out of the hall. However, I still queued up behind about 50 people to ask him to sign my programme. This guitarist is nothing short of outstanding and inspiring. He plays in a new and exciting way. I feel the future will be very bright for him.
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John O wrote:I've read nothing but rave reviews of his playing, but really, he has GOT to come up with some better programming! I
<derogatory term for bovine excrement inserted here>!!
I believe that guitarists must avoid major labels.......
To me, the best option is to try to sign with an independent label to build a long term discography notably with new works by great contemporary composers, but I acknowledge it's pretty hard........One of the best examples is the finnish guitarist Timo Korhonen with the finnish label Ondine ; there was Craig ogden with Chandos, but now it's over....; there are also David Starobin with Bridge (but it's his own label !), Frank Bungarten with MDG, Alex Garrobé with Columna Musica.........
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I don't agree that guitarists should avoid major labels and prioritise recording contemporary music. Of course, it's good to promote new music when someone can, but Milos' recording is aimed at a mainstream audience, not necessarily guitar afficionados, and admittedly, these pieces sell CDs. However, I do also feel that Milos plays these classics with a fresh approach, so they are worth hearing by guitar enthusiasts too.
You mentioned Alexander Sergei Ramirez, who's career seems to gone off course, but there's no reason to suppose that will happen Milos. Other guitarists have made recordings for big labels and their careers haven't suffered. For example, Carlos Bonell, Xuefei Yang.
Time will tell, but I'd like to point out that I first heard Milos play over a year ago at my local guitar society, when he was largely unknown. I thought he was really good then - that's why I travelled to London to see him again. It's only my opinion, but I feel Milos plays the guitar differently to anyone else I've heard.
To be honest, I feel a bit frustrated by some of the new big name players, (and reading these boards, I know I'm not alone), because they play technically brilliantly, but not "from the heart". So I did get a bit excited when I heard Milos, because, I feel, he does play with feeling, however, it does remain to be seen whether his style will be successful in today's world.
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We are trying to charm the audience, not challenge them. A full program of contemporary music will be interesting to some, but test the patience of others.
We always have the option of not attending
1987 Yamaha GC-3 Indian/cedar D'Addario EJ45
Such a poor program is just a short term arithmetic, and nowadays, major companies are only able to make short term arithmetic.......
Moreover, everyone must admit that "mainstream" audiences are disappearing (except in Asia) ; if you have a look at audiences in concerts of "mainstream" classical music, you will see a lot of retired people with grey hair ; I believe that contemporary music is the last chance for classical music ; obviously, not boring works by Boulez and his followers or "works" by André Rieu, but now, some composers explore new ways....
Concerning Carlos Bonnell, maybe he continues giving concerts, but he exists no more on disc ; and concerning Xuefei Yang, she's a pretty young asian girl, and major companies bet a lot on girls like her, especially violonists ; marketing directors imagine they are a phantasm for old men who are fond of classical music.......
Can you imagine a young pianist playing "La lettre à Elise" at the Wigmore Hall ?
What will Milos play at his next concert ? Jeux interdits ? Cavatina ? Perhaps a piece by Barrios Mangoré, one of the greatest composers of the XXth century.........What ????? Someone in the Hall doesn't know this name ????????
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I think to say that contemporary music is the way to move the guitar forward and get it noticed is naive, and to make a career and living for yourself from only performing new music is pretty much impossible imo. I know that Milos is very able when it comes to modern music (the encore I saw when he performed was the Finale from Ginastera's Sonata) but the aim for this album is the general classical music world who will not have heard these classics on the guitar often at all, not like us in the guitar world who hear them all the time. They have a charm about them when performed on the guitar that will not have been heard at performances of piano music. We also dont have the chance to fall back on the works by great composers, classical, romantic or late romantic - 20th century. Using your analogy about a pianist, I can also say you are highly unlikely to attend a recital of a young pianist that is entirely made up of modern music; it can alienate a general concert going audience.
We have to deal with what repertoire we've been given, and if you dont like it then choose a different instrument. One of my teachers told me this quote (when studying a particularly boring and predictable trio piece by Giuliani); There is no bad music, only bad musicians. A case in point is the recordings that Pavel Steidl has done of the Leganani Caprices, he turns otherwise repetitive and unsurprising little minatures into little gems. So to say contemporary music is the only way forward is short sighted- people want to hear the greats, and a young concert artist is unlikely to get far refusing to play standard repertoire in their concerts. When you're established you can make the choice to concentrate on contemporary music if you so wish, but there are few in the position right now to be able to do that and live a comfortable life.
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francilien wrote:I'm just a bit fed up with the fact that guitar is the clown of the classical music world.......
What will Milos play at his next concert ? Jeux interdits ? Cavatina ?
Milos appeared on BBC's Breakfast programme yesterday morning. Guess what he played.
(While you're here, francilien, what are this week's lottery numbers?)
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hellow326 wrote:We have to deal with what repertoire we've been given, and if you dont like it then choose a different instrument.
Well, someone should tell Milos, given his choice to play Albeniz, Granados and epitaphios by Theodorakis (all arrangements, not guitar repertoire). I think his program is actually more geared for guitar afficionados, contemporary composers would be more likely to attract audience interested in the composer and not necessarily the instrument.
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In my opinion this is an artistic error. Musicians should play the music that really means something to them personally, in their hearts and in their heads.
Perhaps the old warhorses like Recuerdos and Cavatina have this significance for Milos, but I doubt that.
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