Guitar and Mandolin to Conclude KotorArt

The twenty-first edition of KotorArt Don Branko’s Music Days concluded with a concert by two artists, one from Montenegro – guitarist Miloš Karadaglić and one from Israel – mandolin player Avi Avital. On Wednesday, August 17, before a full audience in the Church of Our Lady in Prčanj, the artists performed the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Manuel de Falla, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Mathias Duplessy.

Miloš Karadaglić, as the leading classical guitarist of his generation worldwide, has recently become an exclusive Sony Classical artist, after having released several albums during the many years of cooperation with Universal. Through feature recitals, performances with the orchestra and in chamber ensembles, the KotorArt audience has followed his musical growth and increasingly intense conquest of the concert scene over the past years. When it comes to the artists with whom he performed at KotorArt, he presented clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer, accordionist Ksenija Sidorova and soprano Pumeza Matshikiza as a guest-host of the Festival at the evenings called Miloš Invites. This year, he had the honor of rounding off the edition of Don Branko’s Music Days by playing with Avi Avital, a mandolin player who regularly performs at the world’s major festivals, and has so far performed more than a hundred contemporary works written for him. Avital is the first mandolinist to be nominated for a classical Grammy and the first mandolinist to win the Aviv competition in Israel in 2007.

Given that the repertoire for the guitar and mandolin duo is not extensive, the artists presented classical works through arrangements of compositions originally written mainly for the piano. At the beginning of the evening, the two artists performed Siete canciones populares españolas by the composer Manuel de Falla. When it comes to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, they introduced themselves with the popular Adagio, that is, the second movement from the Oboe Concerto in D minor, as well as the Prelude from English Suite in A minor No. 1. For these and other compositions, the arrangement was written by Sergio Assad, who adapted the piano texture to the guitar-mandolin performance technique. At the end of the concert, Karadaglić and Avital performed the second and third movement of the Sonata for Guitar and Mandolin, a composition written for them by the French author Mathias Duplessy, so that performance was also the Montenegro premiere.

The artists also presented themselves as soloists. Miloš Karadaglić performed several Preludes by Heitor Villa-Lobos, while Avi Avital played a traditional Turkish song.