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Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia
Raga Durgawati, Raga Mishra
Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia
Genres: World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1


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All Artists: Raga Durgawati, Raga Mishra
Title: Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Navras
Release Date: 9/15/2000
Genres: World Music, Pop
Styles: Reggae, India & Pakistan, India
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 789368716821

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CD Reviews

Tabla recital? of Bansuri recital?
Andrew W | Japan | 05/27/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia is an undisputed master of the bansuri, a living legend. He has, through a long and distinguished career truly mastered the art of the breath and become one with his chosen instrument. Although he is often daubed with the praise-by-numbers title of: 'master', 'virtuoso', 'genius' or other such over-used words he is beyond such definitions. Such words have long since lost their fabric, constitution and meaning; we are now at the point where no words suffice to describe the sublime or the truly accomplished which Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia represents, we are now in need of a new vocabulary.

A live performance such as this is always going to be a challenge, insofar as the listener invariably judges what they hear as being representant, being somehow definitive of the artiste's wider gift. In this case I would sharply disagree with such an observation. Here we are presented with a competent performance, an eloquent performance, but not a defining performance, certainly not as good as Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia can be. It is by his standards mediocre at best, it was not a good night to make a performance and commit it to CD so that it will for posterity form part of his frame-or-reference. Or maybe it could have been, maybe he just chose the wrong tabla player?

Whilst Sukhinder Singh Namdhari is undoubtedly dextrous, enthusiastic and accurate, he is precocious, he is arrogant, self-centred and immature. He is like a lion cub rolling in the dirt, crying out and biting the tail of the head of the Pride - in this case Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. He seems to have forgotten all his training, become blinded by the spotlight and ignored protocols. Allow me to re-establish them, if I may:

i) A tabla (like all drums) primary function is that of a time-keeper.
ii) A tabla is not the main instrument.
iii) People paid to see and hear the legend of Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia not his tabla player.
iv) Hindustani Classical Music is supposed to be the music of the Gods, the reverberation of the Universe, the expression of the one's divine nature.

Singh's downfall is so common among tabla players these days, a spiritual sickness of the soul which I call 'Zakir-disorder'. A delirium which massively distorts one's vision of the world, inflates the ego and obscures one's view of reality. The real strength of character, the real inner peace that is required to simply keep time and sit in the shadows is no longer possessed by the large number of tabla players on the current concert circuit. Here the subtlety of Krishna's flute is drowned out by the uncouth banging (I hesitate to use the correct word, striking) of the tabla, and endless 'look at me!', 'look at me!' One cannot help but think of the analogy of a dog let off his leash running all over the park and annoying people trying to enjoy the quite of a sunny afternoon.

In the end one really gets the feeling that Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia gave up on this performance and did no more than punch-the-clock. That his subtle facial movements, shifts in tone or tilts of the head employed to haul Singh back to base were all wasted - French cuisine wasted on a burger-eater, and so any chance at building a rapport was ultimately lost, they both went their separate ways and what we essentially have here are two performances in one; we have an average bansuri performance and an egotistical tabla exposition. It appears as if the sound engineer too was of Singh's generation and forgot protocol in the mix, because the performances are rendered as performed 70% Singh and 30% Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia - a poor mix.

P.S. As a postscript and a response to the previous reviewer. Whilst every review is ultimately subjective, it should at least have a concrete foundation, if you have listened to a LOT of Classical bansuri, you could not render this a 'five'. It's worth reaffirming that 'five-stars' is a gold-medal, a perfect score, an A+. Nothing is perfect, no performance is ever perfect, because perfect is an artificial construct and does not ultimately exist in expressive Art. Besides, if you give five-stars all the time then as with my previous comment pertaining to the use of 'maestro' etc. the real value of praise becomes diluted and ultimately value-less."