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Miloš’ Aranjuez, playing with London Philharmonic Orchestra

Aranjuez

Price: $12.83

4.6 out of 5 stars (39 customer reviews)

15 used & new available from $4.92

Do we really need another recording of Rodrigo’s ubiquitous Concierto de Aranjuez? It’s such a well-known work it can easily sound hackneyed in the hands of anything less than a brilliant and original guitarist. Luckily Miloš is just that, bring his abundant musicality and star quality to a recording that makes you enjoy this instantly memorable work anew. The outer movements dance along, the central slow movement’s melismatic melody is a filigree lament in his hands. The Aranjuez is the centrepiece of an album that includes the ‘other’ Rodrigo concerto, the Fantasía written ‘for a gentleman’. It’s a gentle gallop though a landscape of 17th-century Spanish dance melodies, by turns thoughtful and boisterous. The orchestration – spotlighting the superb playing of the London Philharmonic Orchestra – is colourful and evocative, and Miloš’s performance is flawless.

The only caveat (which loses the album its fifth star) is the lush, reverberant style of recording. These are intimate works, written for a naturally small-voiced instrument and carefully balanced chamber orchestra, not symphonic movie soundtracks. But meanwhile Miloš’s solo items prove to be much more than fillers – he plays Falla’s sparse, brooding homage to Debussy, and Rodrigo’s big-scale Invocatión y Danza beautifully – the music is perfectly judged and spellbinding.