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The Ravi Shankar Collection - Raga Mala (Sitar Concerto No 2) (2005)

Pandit Ravi Shankar


About this album

In childhood, Ravi Shankar displayed considerable talent as both a musician and a dancer. At the age of ten, he traveled with his mother and three brothers to Paris as a dancer in his elder brother Uday's dance company. It was there that he received his first formal schooling and first heard Western classical music. Among the prominent musicians who visited the Shankar home were Georges Enesco and Andres, Segovia, and the boy attended concerts given by Paderewski, Tonscanini, Heifetz, Kreisler, Chaliapin, Casals and the child prodigy violinist. After a year of training from Allauddin Khan in 1935 he went for a thorough study of Indian music from his Guru Baba Allauddin in Maihar, India between 1938-44. At age of 18, Shankar began intensive music studies in India with Ustad Allauddin Khan, and a little over a year later he made his debut as a solo performer on several Indian instruments.

By the mid-1940s Shankar was touring widely in India, both as a soloist and as the director of All India Radio's instrumental ensemble. In the 1950s he began to give concerts in Europe and the U.S, including a 1958 UNESCO event in Paris and, five years later three much remarked upon recitals at the Edinburgh Festival. Shankar also began a longtime association with Yehudi Menuhin, whom he met during a Menuhin tour of India. Because of his concerts and recordings, Shankar is perhaps the foremost popularize of Indian music in the West today. He has also founded a school of Indian music in Los Angeles and lectured widely in North America. Raga, a full-length film on his life and music, was released in the U.S. in 1972.

Raga-Mala (garland of Ragas), Concerto No. 2 for sitar and orchestra, was begun in the summer of 1979 and finished in the summer of 1980. The work, which is dedicated to Zubin Mehta, was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic with a generous gift from Francis Goelet. Raga-Mala was given its world premiere by the Philharmonic under Mehta, with the composer as soloist, in New York on April 23, 1981.


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