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An Exquisite Raag In a Live Concert

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Customer Reviews

Rasik Priya - Love of Lovers

“Rasika” means someone that appreciates and adores various forms of arts, poetry, beauty etc. “Priya” is a thing that is dear to someone. “Rasika Priya” means something that is dear to all those who appreciate. What a beautiful concept and a name for a raga! And to top that here is an album presenting this raga by the legendary Indian classical musician Pandit Shivkumar Sharma who is known for his works with the instrument ‘The Santoor”. Santoor is a romantic instrument and Panditji’s music has the power to bring out some amazing moods and feelings through medium its hundred strings. Like many other ragas that are originally Indian Carnatic style, this raga also has crossed over to the North Indian style and Panditji has presented it in his own style that is very unique, gentle, serene and romantic. The first 30 minutes bring out the nature of the raga in the form of Aalap, Jod and Jhala that creates the stage for what is to follow. This is a trip that can take your imagination on a superb journey. Ustad Zakir Hussain, who is none other, than a pleasant dream that occurred to the Indian rhythm and percussion instrument the “Tabla”, graces this album with his most appropriate, supportive and yet outstanding accompaniment. Panditji chooses the slower version (“Vilambit”) of the 16 beat rhythmic cycle “Teentaal” followed by the faster (“Drut”) “Teentaal”. Finally, My hats-off to “Chhanda Dhara” label for the wonderful work they have done in bringing this and many such albums to millions of Indian classical music fans. Enjoy the album!

Original inlay notes

Santoor and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma are synonymous - an equation accepted by music lovers all over the world. But when one ponders over it, he truly comes across many revelations. It is not only the melodic contents of Santoor that you hear when those magic hands move swiftly caressing the strings but you feel the whole personality vibrating around you. The essence of a particular Raag with its emotional appeal is so earnestly and sincerely portrayed that it turns into an experience to be cherished for a long time. Truly, the personality and Raag manifestation vividly bring about the sense of oneness. As the element of rhythm is slowly introduced, it turns into vibrant experience trying to relate your existence with the balance in nature around you. Simple patterns to begin with, though ultimately tend to become intricate, do not miss their original charm and continue to please you as long as one does not try to analyse the mathematics behind it. This is because the proper selection of melodic patterns and its intelligent blending with the rhythmic intricacies is so effectively done that one gets totally engrossed and attains the spiritual state of mind till this joyous journey arrives at SAM (first beat of a particular tala/rhythmic cycle). The journey towards the climax is so well conducted with occasional flourishes of verve and vigor punctuated by delicate touches and pauses that it transforms into a fulfilled, satisfied experience resulting into thunderous applause denoting oneness between the artist and listeners. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma about the Raag: Rasik Priya is a lesser known Raag of Carnatic Music. It has got a very unusual scale. The second and sixth notes are totally ommitted. Both the third and both the seventh notes are used one after the other. There is no such Raag are even similar Raag in North Indian Music. But this is a very beautiful Raag. Certain Carnatic Raags have become quite popular in North Indian Music like Hamsadhwani, Kirwani, Charukeshi etc. but I do not think Raag Rasik Priya has ever been played by a North Indian Musician. I believe in one theory that each Instrument has got its own dominant personality that means a particular Raag or combination of notes sounds better on a particular Instrument. And I feel the Raag Rasik Priya sounds very beautiful on the Santoor. I personally like this Raag and have tried to give it a particular colour or treatment, which might sound some what different to a Carnatic music listener. But that is my interpretation of this Raag which I have maintained throughout the performance. The beauty and speciality of Indian Classical Music is its unplanned improvisation. And that aspect of our music comes out at its best in a live concert recording. Because the instant reaction of the audiance is very inspiring for the musician. This concert starts with Solo improvisation called Alap, Jor, and Jhala which is played to create the mood of the Raag and is a very essential part of our music. This is followed by three compositions in slow, medium, and fast tempo. All the three compositions are in 16 beat cycle called Teen Taal. As usual Zakir Hussain has provided a very inspiring accompaniment on the Tabla with total understanding of the sentiments of my music, which is his forte.

Very intriguing piece of classical music

Raga Rasik Priya is really an exquisite raga -- I haven't heard anything similar to this on instruments. It is very emotional and lingers in your mind for ever. It also speaks volumes of the brilliance of this legendary maestro, Shivkumar Sharma. A must-have for anyone who likes santoor.

Biography

Born: January, 1938 in Jammu, Kashmir

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Shivkumar Sharma is one of the truly great visionaries in the Hindustani classical music firmament. His popularity has created a knotty problem for his admirers. Popularity has led to a demand for recordings by him, to a degree that having a Shivkumar Sharma album acts like a kind of validation for a label. Consequently the market is flooded with his recordings. His playing is consummate, therefore he is unlikely to produce a piece of work that is below par, which makes selecting a shortlist even...
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