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Vision of Peace: The Art of Ravi Shankar

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Album Review

The sublime artistry of the legendary sitar master Ravi Sankar on this two-CD compilation is marred by bungled liner notes. With a title as general as Vision of Peace, one would expect a "mainstream" offering; indeed, the liner notes offer a primer on the Indian raga, with a glossary of terms and instruments. Fine, but you are offered no explanation of the Japanese music on disc one, three pieces without Shankar as performer. Internet sleuthing uncovered that this compilation is drawn from three albums: the entire East Greets East (recorded in 1978 in Japan); the "Raga Jogeshwari" from 1980's Spirit of India: Ravi Shankar Plays Ragas; and "Homage to Baba Allauddin" from 1981's Homage to Mahatma Ghandi. The outside notes give no indication this is a compilation album from out of print classics. (The good news is that if you've been looking to round out your Shankar collection, you've struck gold.) The first five Japanese-inspired tracks on disc one showcase the koto played by Susumu Miyashita (a sublime solo on "Padhaspara"), and the austere and haunting shakuhachi played by Hozan Yamamoto. The two play either solo or in unique arrangements melding Indian sitar and tabla (played throughout by master Alla Rakha, who sizzles in his solo "Kaharwa"). The Japanese collaborations are serene when compared to some of blistering complexities of the ragas, and it's a lovely experience to allow the "zen silence" to envelop the Indian sounds. Disc two features two ragas, both beginning with the drones of the tanpura on the alap, slow movements so intoxicating they'd register on a blood count. The ragas inevitably pick up steam with head-spinning tabla rhythms (called talas) and virtuosic sitar fingerwork. Ultimately, Vision of Peace is a stunning and enlightening listening experience, marred by thoughtless liner notes.

Customer Reviews

Best value for money

If you are new to Ravi Shankar music, this is your best investment. Track 1: Japanese music Track 2: Tabla solo by the wizard Alla Rakha (b 1919, d 2000) Track 3 & 4: Ravi Shankar improvizes with Japanese musicians Track 5: Raga based composition Track 6: Full version of Raga "Hemant", one of Ravi Shankar's Guru Baba Allauddin Khan's creations Track 7-11: Two great ragas, which are released independently as "Spirit of India" and "Raga Jogeshwari - EP" for $9.99. It is best to get them here since you get so much more for the price of $11.99. Raga Jogeshwari, one of the Ragas created by Ravi Shankar himself - is rendered to a great detail - it is very meditative in quality. Raga Hameer has a lighter air to it and it is brilliantly played, showcasing the magic of Sitar strings and Ravi Shankar's supremacy. Very highly recommended. HPR: 13 May 2006

Beautiful music

Ravi Shankar's music is absolutely ethereal yet audible. A sublime experience which can be enjoyed while doing almost any activity. I especially enjoy reading while listening to this album. Enjoy it!


Great album, great music by Ravi Shankar.


Born: April 7, 1920 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Genre: World

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Rabindra Shankar Chowdery, aka Ravi Shankar, was born on April 7, 1920, in Varanasi, India, into a well-off orthodox Brahmin family. His father, ShyÆm Shankar, was employed as a diwan (minister) by the Maharajah of Jhalawar. By the age of 13, Ravi Shankar was going along on every tour of his brother Uday Shankar's Compaigne de Danse et Musique Hindou (Company of Hindu Dance and Music). At the All-Bengali Music Conference in December 1934, he met the multi-instrumentalist Allauddin Khan. Precisely...
Full Bio
Vision of Peace: The Art of Ravi Shankar, Ravi Shankar
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Jazz, Asia
  • Released: Jan 01, 2000

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