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The Ravi Shankar Collection - Portrait Of Genius (1964)

Pandit Ravi Shankar


About this album

Ravi Shankar toured the U.S.A in the early 1930s as a musician and dancer with his brother Uday Shankar. In the mid-50s he started touring again as a soloist on the sitar and started popularizing Indian music, with recitals, talks and lecture demonstrations. This album was recorded by Ravi Shankar in 1964. Hailed as a musical genius by critics and audiences throughout the world, Shankar has shown his mastery not only in performance on the Sitar but also as a composer, conductor and educator. He has taught us to love and understand India and its art in the purest and most orthodox terms, as taught to him by his Guru Baba Allaudin Khan.

Tala Rasa Ranga:
This piece was created by Ravi Shankar with the idea of Chatusram and Khandam Jatis in mind. (Jatis are groupings under which all Talas can be fitted: Chatusram in 4, Tisram in 3; Khandam in 5; Mishram in 7; Sankirnam in 9). The two jatis in this composition are displayed by an ensemble of Flute, Sitar, Tabla, Dholak, Kartals and Manjira. The piece is brought to a climax in a fiery folk spirit.

Sitar and Tabla join in a lighter style of musical presentation. This form affords much more melodic freedom for the introduction of new ideas but always returns to the original theme, which ordinarily has its basis in folk tunes.

A group of Tablas, led by Alla Rakha, playing Tintal (16), the item opens with a short flute solo in Raga Hamsa Dhwani. This is a Pentatonic Raga which omits the 4th and 6th of the major scale. The Tabla commences with some kaidas, which literally means 'system' and originated from Delhi. They begin in a slow tempo and then play four variations in double-time. In continuation is heard a 'Rela' in gradations of tempi from slow to fast. After this, the three Tablas keep the Theka and Alla Rakha goes into a spree of free improvisation, playing varieties of 'Relas' and ending with a 'Tihai', where the flute joins with the 'Lahra' and the whole ensemble brings the item to a close with a 'Chakkardar Tihai'. The Jati is Chatusram.


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