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Rare and Glorious - Introducing the Masters

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Album Review

Rare and Glorious draws from the archives of Saregama, Ravi Shankar's longtime Indian record label, to compile a two-CD set of eight ragas with a total running time of 135 minutes; the tracks range across Shankar's career, with the earliest one, "Raga Hansadhwani," having been first released in 1962, and the most recent one, "Raga Shudh Kalyan," in 1988. Shankar's frequent accompanists, tabla players Ali Akbar Khan and Alla Rakha, are present frequently, although certain tracks are performed without percussion. Five of the tracks run 19 minutes or more in length, allowing Shankar time to explore the themes and gradually develop the dynamics of a complete raga. The sitar player was already over 40 when the first of these recordings was made, so he is heard as a mature musician practicing his art in full flower. This kind of music is not really susceptible to a "greatest-hits" selection, but many of these tracks are notable not only for the accomplished playing but also for their return to availability on this release, since they previously only appeared on long out of print LPs. Thus, the album justifies the words of its title, containing music that is both "glorious" and "rare."

Customer Reviews

Great collection!

This is a very good collection of some of the best recordings of the maestro - well worth the price! Some of these ragas - Shuddh Kalyan, Hamsadhwani, Lalit, and Khamaj - are being offered in digital format for the first time! I had them only on cassettes so far.

If you like this, make sure you check out his "Spirit of India" album where he plays Bairagi Todi, Gaud Sarang, and Mishra Gara.

Musicians like Ravi Shankar are born may be once in a century.

The other reviewer who says "just so-so" has no idea of what he/she is talking about - just sample "Shuddh Kalyan" or "Khamaj" and see if you have anything else like that anywhere in this world.

Love the sitar

Ravi Shankar has rocked the Sitar for ages. It's nice to see this collection of varied ragas with the solo and duets. Great stuff!

Always Beautiful

I had a chance to watch the maestro play at Carnegie Hall and it was a maginal experience. Beautiful recording...although a little expensive.


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

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