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Girija Devi Vol 1

Girija Devi

About this album

Sangeet Shiromani Girija Devi is one of the outstanding vocalists in the realm of Hindustani music. Her melodious voice is the perfect medium for the earthy vocalism of the Benaras ang and she has established her pre-eminence as an exponent of khayal, tappa, thumri, chaiti, dadra, hori and sawan, as a true repository of the Banaras Gharana. Girija Devi had the benefit of intensive training from the late Pandit Sarayu Prasad Mishra and the late Pandit Shrichandra Mishra.

Born in the holy town of Kashi, it is but natural that devotion forms an integral part of Girija Devi's musical psyche. Thus singing devotional compositions of such saints as Surdas, Kabirdas, Tulsidas, Meerabai, Guru Nanak and Sant Namdeo with soulful expression constitute an important 'ang' of Smt Girija Devi's Banaras ang. Her bhajans exude a sense of peace and tranquility. Bhakti rasa is an important dimension of her art. Girija Devi occupies an important position on the faculty of Sangeet Research Academy and she imparts her expert guidance to a whole new generation of young singers. When she is not teaching, Girija devi travels - often with the cultural troup of the SRA on concert tours round the country. Apart from this, she has had the distinction of projecting her art in Russia, England, America and most recently, in Australia and New Zealand.

She is the recipient of Padmashree in 1972 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1979. Smt Girija Devi is a popular performer at concerts around the country who has figured in all the important Sangeet Sammelans in the country, and is featured regularly in programs of Akashvani and Doordarshan.

Girija Devi has offered a representative selection of her repertoire during the current series of live concerts for Sterling Resorts. The present album brings you a khayal in Puriya Dhanashri coupled with a Khanmaj Thumri.

Raga Puriya Dhanashri is what is termed as a 'Sandhiprakash Raga' - that is one which usually performed at sundown or dusk, when it generates somber or wistful mood. Puriya Dhanashri is derived from the Purvi Thhaat (family) and since it employs all swaras (notes in the octave) it is termed as a Sampoorna Raga. As a raga of the Purvi group, the salient features of its melodic scale are: its Rishabh (re - 2nd note) and Dhaivat (Dha - 6th note) are komal or flat, while its Madhyam (Ma - 4th note) is Teevra of sharp. The rest of the notes are shudh swaras. The vadi or the dominant note is Pandham while the Samvadi or co-dominant note of Puriya Dhanashri is Shadj. Puriya Dhanashri generates Karun and Sringaar rasas. Girija Devi has rendered her recital of Puriya Dhanashri in her own endearing style. She concludes with a characteristic thumri in Khamaj, in the true tradition of the Banaras Gharana.


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