Musica Maestrale

Musica Maestrale — Zoltarz Jezusow from Agnieszka Laska on Vimeo.

Musica Maestrale opens its concert season this weekend (October 6, 2012, 7:30PM) at the Community Music Center in Portland, Oregon.

From Musica Maestrale’s website:

Musica Maestrale’s premier concert! For this special occasion, we will be joined by Adaiha Macadam-Somer (‘cello) and Noah Strick (violin), pictured left, two young, emerging stars in the San Francisco Bay Area early music scene. Both are alumni of the San Francisco Conservatory; Adaiha is a winner of the 2012 Voices of Music Young Artists’ Bach Competition (see video up, right), and Noah is the concertmaster of Berkeley Symphony and also plays with some very prestigious early music ensembles including Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. We are very fortunate to have them for their Portland debut!

This concert explores the sonata in 17th-century Italy. Wild and unrestrained, the music of this era has a flavor distinctly different from that of the later Baroque. Come experience the calculated madness of the music of Castello, Marini, and Stradella!

Community Music Center
3350 SE Francis St
Portland, Or. 97202

Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Hideki Yamaya, the group’s founder:

“The first concert is me and two young hotshot from the SF Bay area. We met at the Astoria Music Festival; they are Noah Strick who plays in a number of symphony orchestras in the Bay area including the Philharmonia Baroque, and Adahia Macadam-Somer is a wonderful cellist. So it will be the three of us, and we’ll be doing 17th-century Italian music, from the early Italian baroque, which is what I love to play the most so it’s kind of fitting that we start with that. We’re going to play a bunch of Castello, and a sonata by Stradella. It rocks pretty hard,” he said laughing.”

“So we’re dealing with some composers here who aren’t household names like your Handels or your Vivaldis,” I prodded him.

“Exactly. But the music nerds will certainly recognize some of the names. Expect some fireworks from it. These guys (Strick and Macadam-Somer) are up-and-coming young talent in the early music scene so it’ll be pretty exciting to have them up here.”

Milos Karadaglic Plays Granados

Milos Karadaglic, in case you haven’t heard, is the hot new guitar player this year. By “hot,” I mean in the showbiz sense. Boffo. Big bank.

For one thing, he’s got Deutsche Grammophon behind him. It doesn’t get more prestigious than that. Milos signed with DG last summer. They’re sending him all over the world to promote his debut album with DG, Mediterraneo.

And I don’t mind helping them out a little. Milos is a good player. (Yes, I call him just “Milos.” I can’t seem to remember “Karadaglic” very well. I notice that DG, too, has started calling him just “Milos” in their publicity. Good move.)

Milos is getting tremendous publicity. I first noticed the publicity campaign a few months ago when a well-written article about the guitarist came out in The Economist magazine, of all places.

Then I heard there was a TV commercial for his new recording on CBS TV. When’s the last time you saw a classical guitarist advertised on national network TV? Never. This is quite a push.

So I Googled around and he’s everywhere. Then I looked on YouTube to see what all the fuss is about. There I found video after video put out by Deutsche Grammophon pushing their new guitar star, but the videos were mostly hype. Lots of high-end, glamorous hype.

Which is perfectly understandable and acceptable, except I didn’t want to blog any of it. I wanted an honest, well-presented, and complete live performance – something that might be representative of what Milos is really about.

Yesterday I found one that wasn’t put out by DG. Although it’s mistitled – it says the piece is Granada by Albeniz – it’s still a nice video. It’s actually Milos playing Danza Espanola No. 5 by Granados, a great favorite with classical guitarists. It’s the fifth of the famous Twelve Spanish Dances for piano by Granados, published in 1890. The piece’s individual name is Andaluza, or sometimes it’s called Playera. (I don’t know why it has so many names.)

I heard a quote from Milos today: “I want people to fall in love with the guitar.”

I’ll second that. You’re doing a good job, Milos.

Granados: Oriental – Arranged for Guitar and Cello

Ariana Burstein, ‘cello, and Roberto Legnani, guitar, perform the Danza Espagnola No.2, opus 37 – “Oriental.” Originally for piano solo by the great Spanish composer Enrique Granados, this piece is very popular with guitarists as a guitar duet. Bream & Williams and Presti & Lagoya, for example, recorded beautiful versions of it.

It is also sometimes heard arranged for guitar solo. It’s on the new recording by Milos Karadaglic, Mediterraneo.

(And contrary to the publicity materials for this recording, it is not the “first time ever” that it has been arranged for solo guitar. Denian Arcoleo does a beautiful job of it, as you will see and hear in the second video. Another fine arrangement exists by Jose Luis Gonzalez.)

But this is the first time I’ve heard it for guitar and ‘cello.

Well, I can’t resist. I have to add one more. Here it is by this wonderful couple, Evangelos and Liza, about whom Segovia said:

“Since fate cruelly deprived us of Presti and Lagoya, I no longer had the pleasure of listening to any comparable duet. But lately, when the talented Greek guitarists Evangelos and Liza played for me, I felt total satisfaction and enjoyment. They have rhythm, good taste, emotion and technique. They work together with loyalty to the music and vital dedication. I cordially wish Evangelos and Liza to conquer the high estimation of the public as they have conquered mine.”