The Ravi Shankar Collection - West Meets East (1967)

Pandit Ravi Shankar


About this album

Originally released on West Meets East - Album 1 in 1967, this Shankar composition is a morning raga based on Raga Gunkali. Yehudi Menuhin is featured on violin accompanied by Alla Rakha on tabla. The Aochar Alap is followed by a Cadenza, leading into the Jor and finishing with the Gat in Chanchar tal.

Also originally released on West Meets East - Album 1, this composition is an evening raga based on Raga Tilang. It is a duet which features Ravi Shankar on sitar and Yehudi Menuhin on violin. The piece features a cadenza by Menuhin, followed by an improvised sitar solo by Ravi and ends with a blistering Gat in fast teental.

Raga Piloo
From West Meets East - Album 2, this pieces is based on Raga Piloo and was composed by Ravi Shankar especially for the United Nations Human rights Day concert, December 10, 1967, where it was first performed by the composer and Yehudi Menuhin. It features Shankar on sitar and Menuhin on violin, as well as Alla Rakha on tabla. The compositions is in teental, a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats. The final movements are in a faster tempo and conclude with a chakradar tihai, a special rhythmic cadence used in North Indian classical music.

This sitar solo from West Meets East - Album 2 is a theme which Ravi based on folk melodies. The Dhun borders on the thumri, the light classical music of North India, which is characterized by its lyrical and romantic nature. The piece is set to kaharwa, a rhythmic cycle of eight beats. It features Shankar on sitar accompanied by Rakha on tabla.

Raga Ananda Bhairava
A sitar solo from West Meets East - Album 2, this piece is based on a seldom-heard variety of the Raga Bhairava. The mood is devotional but lighter than the feeling created by the parent raga. The Gat is unusual in that although the basic rhythmic cycle is roopak tal, each beat is further subdivided into three units or 21 beats for one cycle. Again Shankar on sitar is accompanied by Rakha on Tabla.

This Shankar composition from West Meets East -Album 3 expresses a tender and romantic mood. It was adapted from the old and rare morning Raga Nata Bhairav and uses both the flatted and the normal or raised (shuddha) second note (Rhe). Tenderness has become the universally accepted and performed version of this raga. It begins with an Aochar Alap in which both Menuhin and Shankar take part and process on to the Jor. The Gat in Ektal is introduced by a tabla solo and followed by improvisational upon the Gat by Shankar and Menuhin ending in a tihai.

Twilight mood
Based on Raga Puriya Dhanashri, this early evening raga from West Meets East - Album 3 is described as Sandhiprakasha (the twilight time of either early evening or early morning, between the hours of five and seven in both instances). The piece begins with an Aochar Alap in which Menuhin and Shankar play in unison, followed by a Jor introduced by a pizzicato passage for violin with sitar. Then comes the Gat in Ektal and the piece ends with a jhala, increasing in speed and excitement leading to climax, with a closing tihai.


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