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.

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