Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
India: Anthology of Indian Classical Music
Genres: World Music, Pop
Perhaps One Star Would Be Even More Appropriate
Charlie Brown | 07/10/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is an old UN project originally compiled on six LPs, now on three CDs. Half the set is devoted to north India, half to south India. This may have whetted Europeans' appetites when it first came out, but has little to offer today's interested listener. The tracks are largely excerpts from longer recordings; some of the performances are all right but too short to hold any interest. The liner notes are really bad, with much misinformation. Sound quality: so-so - these recordings are decades old, and especially the drum sounds are seriously dated.The first disc of Hindustani music has some sideshow features. Most bizarre of all are a dismal khyal by the Dagar brothers, who of course were famous and outstanding dhrupad singers - edited together from a longer performance via very ugly cuts - and the beenkar Swami Dattatreya Rama Rao Parvatikar (1916-1990), a "wandering monk" who "observes a vow of silence and never speaks". In point of fact, this figure styled himself the "Veena Maharaj", emperor of veena, and travelled around putting together a "synthesis" of Hindustani and Carnatic classical music, and "experimented" with the "Dattatreya Veena", a combination of veena, sitar and swarmandal. The inane liner notes reveal that his "Gat is a light fantasia". The longest track, Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar in jugalbandi, is perhaps the best, though still short, at 14 minutes, and marred by ugly cuts.Tracks 1-4 on disc two continue the Hindustani set; tracks 5-11 are Carnatic. Nandan Prasad's Malkauns bhajan, competently sung, is the only Hindustani item the set presents in entirety, except for Parvatikar's complete veena performance in Suha Kamod, which is of more questionable merit, heh. (He also presents something as far-fetched as a swarmandal solo.) The Carnatic items fare better, with three complete kriti performances. The last, Dixitar's "Ganesha Kumara" played by Budalur Krishnamurty Shastri on gottuvadyam, is especially beautiful.The last disc is all-Carnatic. A veena duet on Tyagaraja's "Sadhincene" by Devakotai Narayana Iyengar & Kalyana Krishna Bhagavatar shows promise but is faded out after about one minute of the actual kriti. The powerful snippets from Radha Shri Ram's Bharatanatyam ensemble are actually enhanced by the poor recording quality: the mrdangam booms like thunder. Vidya's veena inclusion sounds good, but again, there are today whole CDs full of music as good and better. Otherwise, it is the Pattammal who brings superstar quality to this compilation. Unfortunately, she is not at her best in any of these tracks.In conclusion, the Indo-curious listener would do much, much better to invest in a number of different CDs of modern recording, such as are readily available today - especially as this anthology, in an attempt to show a wide variety of Indian classical music, actually gathers together such a wealth of semi-classical material that the real classics are kept to a minimum, showcasing nothing of the real breadth in the field. Adding to that the questionable recording quality, musical merit of a considerable portion of the artists, and the fact that the music is obviously much better heard in full length, and the advise can only be to avoid this anthology completely."
Classic Recordings of Historical and Musical Value
Charlie Brown | Mars, CA United States | 08/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As an introduction to Indian classical music, this set served students, libraries and assorted listeners for many years. Today, improved sound fidelity and increased familiarity with world music genres have decreased demand for this release, but I would recommend it very highly to those already acquainted with Indian art music. Why? Because it features some of the earliest recordings (early 1950s) by legendary performers like Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan as well as rarely-heard musicians such as D. R. Parvatikar. One can note differences in interpretation and improvisation methods employed when dealing with recording time constraints. In addition, this set is a fitting tribute to the pioneering French musicologist Alain Danielou, who collected all this material. His work is comparable to that of Alan Lomax in its excellence and dedication. Therefore, if you are curious about how Indian music sounded half a century ago (and it has changed), these CDs will come as something of a revelation."
Brilliant Music of Both Aesthetic and Historical Value
achdukleidustein | Vladivistock | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an exciting compilation from the 50's that includes great musicians like Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan in their primes, and from south india the great singer DK Pattamal and the hard to find esteemed bamboo flautist T. Vishwanathn (see Nonesuch recording with L. Shankar).
For these last two the CD is worth having alone.
Wonderful music for the serious collector of Indian music"