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Sangeet Sartaj Vol 1 - Kishori Amonkar (2011)

Kishori Amonkar

About this album

Kishori Amonkar is a unique classical vocalist and a supreme exponent of the Jaipur Atrauli gharana. Endowed with a voice that has an amazing range, Kishori Amonkar is one of the finest classical singers in the annals of Indian classical music.

Kishori Amonkar was born on 10 April 1931 in a family with a rich background in music. Her mother Mogubai Kurdiakar, an excellent vocalist from the famous and the oldest Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, initiated Kishori Amonkar into music when she was very young. The promising child grew up following a strict regimen of rigorous riyaz. By the time she matured into a vocalist, she had fully imbibed in her singing the special features of the gharana.

Kishori Amonkar's effortless singing in a rich and mellifluous voice has always been her audience's delight. There is a beautiful blend of the swara and emotions appropriate in the renderings of the ragas. The unique features of her gharana are distinct, especially her bol taan and the phirat taan-s. True to the tradition of her gharana, she retains the purity of a raga. However, Kishori Amonkar, unlike her mother, a staunch purist, has at times sung light classical compositions such as Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Sanskrit devotional songs.

Kishori Amonkar is a vocalist par excellence and has been described as gana Saraswati. A highly honored artiste, she has been the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy award, the Padma Bhushan and the Sangeet Samrajni award.

Raga Alhaiya Bilawal

Aali ri kitve gaye, Vilambit in Teentala
Kavan batariya gailo mayi, Drut in Teentala

Kishori Amonkar sings a very special vilambit (slow) compositions in the raga Alhaiya Bilawal that was composed by Miyan Sajile, the maternal-grandfather of Alladiyan Khan, the guru of Kishori Amonkar's revered mother Mogubai Kurdikar. The Bilawal scale is made of all the natural notes and is the basis for several subtypes pr prakaar like Alhaiya Shukal, Sarparda, Kukubh etc. The words of the song ask "O friend, where have all those people gone? Those in whose company I got so much pleasure, where have all those people gone?" This is a contemplative yet also romantic exposition from this melody queen who is known for her emotional articulation of the raga. If tenderness, melancholy marked the first half of the recital, the mood changes to a romantic playfulness as she takes up the well-known drut khayal. Again an interrogative lyric, the nayika (heroine) here is asking her mother, "To which town has my beloved gone?" It is a highly charged rendering by the foremost voice of musical passion.

Raga Basant Bahar

Khayal vilambit in Teentala
Drut in Teentala

Basant Bahar is blend of the two major ragas of the Spring. Basant makes use of komal rishabh (D flat) and dhaivat (A) and both madhyam (F and F sharp). Bahar, of the Kafi that or parent scale, features komal grandhar (E flat) and both nishad (B and B flat). In fact, it is the characteristic use of the nishad that makes the raga easily identifiable.

Tracks

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