Wonderful double album featuring live santoor & flute duet!
Shivkumar Sharma & Hariprasad Chaurasia -- what a combination! Such musicians are born may be once in a hundred years. Both of them are absolute masters of their chosen instruments - santoor & bamboo flute, respectively. It is very appropriate to say that these two great musicians have given a new dimension to Indian classical instrumental music -- something that could be compared with the contributions of their senior and role model: legendary Ravi Shankar.
This double album is the live recording of 28 October 1998 concert at The Royal Festival Hall, London, organized to celebrate India's 50 years of Independence.
Rasdhara (a Sanskrit phrase - "rasa" is the mood or essence of feeling, and "dhara" is the stream) is a classical masterpiece. The ragas presented are Jhinjhoti and Kirwani - both are deeply emotional and especially suited for santoor & flute.
Jhinjhoti: This raga creates a feeling of exreme yearning and nostalgia. The maestros give a very detailed touch to it: with Alap, Jod, Jhala sequence (which confirms to the ancient Vedic tradition of "Dhrupad"). Alap is a free flowing "whisper" of the raga. Jod is a continuation of Alap which has a pulse. Pakhawaj joins in the Jod phase, giving a majestic touch. Jhala is the extension of Jod where the playing picks up more speed and the progression of notes travels toward a crescendo. Alap, Jod, Jhala unfolds the raga and establishes the mood. This is followed by a Gat ("Gat" is a short form of Sanskrit term "Gati" which means movement), set to an unusual rhythmic cycle called "Matt Taal" of 9 beats. Gat is a great journey in the mood of the raga, with an exuberant climax. Pakhawaj player (Bhavani Shankar) gives a great support throughout the Gat.
Kirwani: This is a very popular raga, especially on instruments, and a forte of both maestros. Kirwani is deeply emotional - pensive and pathos in slow tempo, exuberant and joyful in the fast tempo. The raga is treated to an expansive 11 minute Alap, followed by two Gat compositions set to medium tempo (also called Madhya Laya) Rupak Taal of 7 beats and fast temp (Drut Laya) Teen Taal of 16 beats. The Gat phase is accompanied by Shafaat Ahmed Khan on Tabla.
HPR: 10 Apr 2006