Monday, September 21, 2009

Jugalbandi (जुगलबन्दी)


The jugalbandi is a very special form of recital where two maestros get together to present a performance. Many tend to misinterpret the jugalbandi as a competitive format where the maestros try to outdo each other in displaying their proficiency. Well, petty apprentices may play such games – most maestros are beyond them.

Most  jugalbandis I have listened to have tended to be dazzling virtuous cycles – may be I should say virtuoso cycles – of outstanding creativity, with each maestro inspiring the other to ever greater heights.

The memorable ‘jugalbandis’ between Pandit Ravi Shankar and Yehidi Menuhin, immortalised in the album West Meets East took the world of music by storm by their superb inter-traditional melding.

Below sample jugalbandi with Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahib on the sitar, with Ustad Ali Ahmed Hussein on the shehnai is a nice example.

The maestros present an ecstatic bandish in Raga Anandi Kalyan.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rāgeshree (रागेश्री)


Rāgeshree (रागेश्री), is a night melody and a rāgini of exceptional sweetness, like its sister Bāgeshree (बागेश्री). Though the poignancy of the विरहिनी seems toned down, it is still replete with शृंगार रस the essence of romance. I have been looking for some good recitals, some बड़ा ख्याल renditions for a while now – today stumbled upon two astounding pieces; one a performance by Ganasaraswati Smt. Kishori Amonkar and a second rare live concert recording of Ustads Nazakat Ali Khan Sahib and Salamat Ali Khan Sahib. These are utterly delightful

The quest for Rāgeshree today was triggered as I listened to a smallish recital of this melody by the Sitar Maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahib. A small sample of a similar rendition of this rāgini by the Maestro along with his son is below.


I sit, letting the swaras wash over me, a truly delightful close to the weekend.