Rare and Glorious (Times Square Records, 2010)
Rare and Glorious is an extraordinary double CD compilation of music by Ravi Shankar, the most famous Indian musician worldwide. The sitar master and teacher has been an influential figure for many decades. Now aged 89, he has an extensive catalog and now some of his recordings that had never been officially released on CD before are now available on CD for the first time.
The CD booklet of Rare and Glorious includes an introductory essay by music writer Ken Hunt, as well as information about the various pieces, which were recorded between the 1960s and 1980s, and a glossary about Classical Indian musical forms.
Ravi Shankar shows his masterful technique in eight fascinating Ragas included in Rare and Glorious. Most of the pieces feature Shankar on sitar, either solo or accompanied by a tabla player. Alla Rakha worked with Shankar for many years and he appears on several of the tracks. Another tabla player, Kanai Dutt, joins Shankar on Raga Hansadhwan. Sarod master Ali Akbar Khan appears on Raga Sindhu Bhairavi, alongside Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha.
“More than any other musician from the subcontinent, Ravi Shankar catalyzed and crystallized so much when it came to fostering appreciation and understanding of Hindustani or northern Indian classical or art music,” says Ken Hunt in the liner notes. “For many of his country men and women and foreign audiences alike, India’s best known musician provided their first taste of this inspired and inspiring music. Remaining true to his guru’s teachings and guidance, the sitarist plucked out and delivered innovation within tradition, continuity within change, change within continuity.”
CD1 includes Raga Devgiri Bilawal, Raga Sindhu Bhairavi, Raga Shudh Kalyan, Raga Hansadhwan and Raga Shudh Sarang. CD2 features Raga Alahiya Bilawal, Raga Lalit and Raga Khamaj.
Rare and Glorious presents essential works by one of the living legends of Indian music.
Buy Ravi Shankar’s recordings:
- In North America: Rare and Glorious. Other recordings available: The Essential Ravi Shankar, Passages, Three Ragas, West Meets East: The Historic Shankar Menuhin Collection, Ravi Shankar: Concert for World Peace
- In Europe: Rare and Glorious
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.