The Montenegrin classical guitarist’s second CD is a whistle-stop tour of South America: 16 short tracks, from lush rainforest greenery to neurotic urban new-tango.
Though aimed firmly at the popular end of the guitar market, there’s no tapas-bar plastic passion. The mood is a subtle mix: samba-juicy (Sávio’s Batucada); mellow (Brouwer’s Día de noviembre); nostalgic (Villa-Lobos’s Mazurka-Chôrô); bittersweet (Gardel’s Por una cabeza, Piazzolla’s Oblivion); valedictory (Ponce’s Scherzino, Barrios’s Último trémolo).
Karadagli´c has a lovely tone, red-wine rich and fruity, with a chocolate-smooth tremolo in the long singing Barrios melodies. The technique is impeccable, though we expect nothing less from today’s virtuosos.
He overstretches the rhythm in the Villa-Lobos Prelude No 1: four-four rather than three-four at times. Questionable; but the composer himself played it elastically, and maybe unorthodoxy can freshen up an overfamiliar piece. Such is the case with the spiky arrangement (by Stephen Goss) of ‘the’ classic tango, Rodríguez’s La cumparsita: the cartoon cliché is inventively refurbished to pleasing effect.
As a programme, the Classical Brit-winning disc is a bit less than the sum of its lovely parts, of limited interest to the hardcore guitar collector. The mainstream buyer, though, may well find that some of these beautiful tracks resonate deeply in the mind.