Indian Classical Music
If for some reason you are allowing yourself only ONE Indian Classical Music album, which one would it be?
Indian Classical Music covers two major Classical traditions – Carnatic Music and Hindustani Music. So to be ‘Indian’ the album would need include both. And therefore, I propose this extraordinarily marvellous album.
Album : South Meets North (1983)
Label : EMI G/ECSD 2932, 1983 Re-published by Saregama
Artist : Lalgudi Jayaraman (Sept 17, 1930)
Artist : Amjad Ali Khan (Oct 9, 1945)
I have had this album since the mid-eighties and I still haven’t tired of it. What makes this so special? The Maestros play their instruments with a skill that ordinary mortals can only dream about. Lalgudi Jayaraman traces his illustrious lineage to a disciple of Saint Tyagaraja (1767-1847), one of the pillars of Carnatic Music. Amjad Ali Khan is the sixth generation of the equally illustrious Bangash lineage. Both play stringed instruments and the sounds complement and contrast perfectly. Lalgudi Jayaraman plays the violin in his own unique style which mimics the vocal style of Carnatic music, with beautifully smooth transitions, waves of melody and rhythm caressing all ours senses. Amjad Ali Khan plays the Sarod, like ripples on a smooth lake at times, like cascading waterfalls at others. This confluence of Southern and Northern traditions means that the music is almost all improvised (the composed pieces are region specific). The call-and-response in this album is an education in music. A jewel of an album.
Listen to the album on Music India Online here.
To my great joy, I recently found videos of Lalgudi Jayaraman and Amjad Ali Khan on Youtube. I cannot begin to explain how joyous that first viewing was! These are two men I have loved and admired for years and here they were, playing right in front of me!! I knew their music, now I saw how they interacted with each other and even ‘played’ with the percussionists! Their music is so wonderful! I know I am gushing, but oh, this is an old love affair….a cradle-to-graveyard crush….
There are two performances online. The first one of Raga Hindolam (one of the ragas on the featured CD)
The other video features the Raga Simhendramahdyamam. Play special attention to the interplay between the artists starting 21:07..its magic!