For Miloš Karadaglić, known to the music world simply as Miloš, the Baroque era represents a new chapter in his life. Following the run of Mediterranean-inspired albums that came after his 2011 debut, Mediterráneo, the Montenegrin guitarist now takes a deep dive into the ornate style of music that flourished among the court composers of 17th- and 18th-century Europe. The album ranges from harpsichord pieces—by Domenico Scarlatti in Spain, François Couperin in France, and Handel in England—to the quintessentially Italianate concertos of Vivaldi, each arranged for guitar. “The Baroque is a period of contrasts: of high and low energy, light and shade, darkness and brightness,” Milos tells Apple Music Classical. The art of arranging is nothing new for Miloš—it plays a part in performing any music that predates the modern guitar. But some of the works in this program are more guitar-friendly than others. The lute music of German composer Silvius Leopold Weiss, for instance, translates easily from one instrument to the other, and has become a core part of the guitar repertoire over the years. But what of the Concerto in B Minor, RV 580 by Vivaldi, originally for four violin soloists, cello, continuo, and strings? “I wanted to push into the repertoire that as a listener I had been interested in for years,” Miloš says. “I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t I be able to play pieces with the bravura that rivals Giuliano Carmignola’s Vivaldi recordings, Cecilia Bartoli’s coloratura, or Víkingur Ólafsson’s piano playing?’ You have to find the courage to see what works and what doesn’t.” At the center of the album lies the “Chaconne” from J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Major, a milestone in the solo violin repertoire. A piece of great emotional depth and technical complexity, “it starts with just a simple chord progression, before going on to explore so many contrasts within a short space of time,” explains Miloš. “The piece is extraordinary. I’ve heard it played by Jess Gillam on saxophone, but I think you could play it on the bagpipes and it would still sound amazing because Bach is so universal; really it is the core of all western music.” Miloš is keen to stress the variety on offer within the broad term “Baroque.” “There are no borders in European Union,” he says, “but if you cross from France to Germany, or from France to Spain, you feel like you’re on another planet.” These national differences are reflected in each country’s contrasting musical languages, from the haunting introspective simplicity of the Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor that opens the album, to the more rigorous reasoning of Weiss, and Vivaldi’s rhythmic energy and fiery passion. “The term ‘Baroque’ is derived from the Portuguese jewelers who used it to describe irregular pearls,” adds Miloš. “These pearls are as unique as human beings—they all have a different shape, and they’re all beautiful in their own way. The result is music that speaks individually to each of us.”

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