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Customer Reviews

Soulful delicacy

Indian classical music is a performing art thriving on spontaneous improvisation of the highest level. Encouraged and inspired by a knowledgeable audience a master musician is able to dig deep into the well of their creative resources. A live concert atmosphere with listeners yearning for quality music is the ideal platform for an artist at the peak of their performance, and the 2002 Saptak Festival provided the perfect environment for Shahid Parvez to demonstrate why he is now regarded as one of India's greatest sitarists. Shahid Parvez belongs to one of the legendary musical dynasties of the Indian sub-continent; he represents the seventh generation of sitar players, in a family having produced a long line of virtuosos, including his uncle Ustad Vilayat Khan. As well as ably representing these traditions, he has successfully carved out his own unique style of playing. His playing expresses soulfulness, born out of the vocal style associated with his family, combined with a dynamic virtuosity which has the capacity to produce seemingly endless passages of stunning improvisation. His music has earned him genuine respect amongst fellow musicians and great popularity amongst world audiences. Regarded as a child prodigy, he has been a regular performer since the tender age of eight years. His father, composer Ustad Aziz Khan, first introduced him to music through the tabla, universally regarded as the most sophisticated percussion instrument in the world. A successful Indian musician has to be at least familiar with the rhythmic concepts of tabla, and many of the best musicians have spent years practicing it. This performance has brought him together with tabla master Kumar Bose, one of the most established exponents of the Benares school of playing, and a disciple of the legendary Pandit Kishan Maharaj. He has regularly accompanied all the great names of Indian music including Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Bannerjee and Hariprasad Chaurasia. In this performance Shahid Parvez has chosen to play the evening melody, Raga Jog, popular with musicians only in the last fifty years, relatively recent by Indian music standards. The first CD features the traditional introductory 'alap', a slow meditative elaboration of the main notes and phrases of the particular raga. Through the alap, the devotional mood of the raga is established, played in a free style without rhythmic accompaniment. Gradually a pulse is introduced; between the short phrases you can hear the strumming of the drone (chikari) strings which also serve to keep the soloist rooted to a tonal base note. At the conclusion of the alap, a composition is introduced. It is set to a rarely performed rhythmic cycle of eleven beats named Rudratal, which offers a musical challenge to both soloist and accompanist. Conceptually, the musicians may divide the cycle (e.g. 4.4.3); in this composition the leading melodic phrase (mukra) begins on the ninth beat. Throughout the recital the two players skilfully exchange musical ideas. Raga Jog continues on CD 2 with three further compositions, two in the sixteen beats cycle of teental (tracks 1&3) and one in the twelve beats ektaal (track 2). The improvisations become faster and more intense, seemingly exploring every aspect of the melodic and rhythmic framework. Raga Pilu is regarded as a light classical music raga associated with the romantic song style of thumri. It uses all the twelve notes of the octave and offers its' own challenges to the soloist. After concluding the alap (track 4), two compositions (5,6) are presented in a style which gives us an opportunity to experience further glimpses of Shahid Parvez's musical genius.

Come on iTunes Let's have the tracks as separate downloads

I have been looking all over the place for this rendition of Pilu by Shahid Parvez. I had heard it years ago from a recording of an All India Radio performance. It's one of the best compositions in Raga Pilu I have heard. Unfortunately, one has to shell out $20 just for the 3 tracks that I really want. iTunes, or Sense World Music, please make these tracks available as separate downloads.

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  • $19.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Asia
  • Released: 2002

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