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Album Review

"Raga Puriya Dhanashri" from the master of the santoor.

Customer Reviews

A serenade of serenity

Shivkumar Sharma is rare genius who is known for his total mastery of santoor and raga music. This album, recorded in a German studio, is one of his best recordings. He performs the evening raga "Puriya Dhanashree" here. Puriya Dhanashree is known as a "Sandhi-Prakash" raga (Sandhi = Meeting, Prakash = Elightening) -- which means as something that enlightens us around the meeting point of day and night. So, it is especially suited for listening in the evening or early night. It has a very peaceful character, very humbling too. It is known to cure migraine. The second piece is a rustic light classical romantic tune, set to raga Pahadi, which is a specialty of the maestro. Throughout the performance, Zakir Hussain gives a great support on tabla, as he does always.

Original inlay notes

Raga Puriya Dhanashree This is an evening Raga derived from Thaat Poorvi (Parent Raga). All the seven notes are used i.e. it is a Sampoorna Raga. Second note (Rishabh) and sixth note (Dhaivat) are flat (Komal) whereas the fourth note (Madhyam) is sharp (Teevra). The fifth note (Pancham) is dominant (Vadi) whereas the first note (Sa) is subdominant (Samvadi). The basis mood of the raga is of longing, gentle persuation with a tinge of feeling of separation. Prelude: Alap, Jod, and Jhala movements in Raga Puriya Dhanashree. Compositions: Phase I (Slow Tempo) in Rupak taal, a rhythmic cycle of 7 beats. Phase II (Medium Tempo) in Teen taal, a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats. Phase III (Fast Tempo) in Teen taal, it is a faster version in 16 beats. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Recipient of Padmavibhushan and Sangeet Natak Academy Awards, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, India's foremost performer on the Santoor, is known for making his concerts into exquisite and memorable events. From the meditative and delicate opening movements to the final crescento to rhythm and energy, he remains in perfect control of his instrument. With its many strings, the trapezodial santoor builds a vibrant texture of sound, the pure notes of the ancient Indian traditions ring out and tellingly express the full spectrum of human emotions. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma learned the santoor from his father, Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma, as well as the art of singing and drumming. Determined to adapt the subtle nuances and inflactions of Indian classical music to his instrument, he practised constantly developing a host of new techniques. Thus, his playing has not only an extraordinary versatility, but an expressive quality which has dazzled and captivated listeners around the world. No major music festival in India and abroad is considered complete without his participation, for he is that rare figure who combines the divergent strains of artistic purity and expressive innovation.

Exotic Evening Raga

Exotic Evening Raga Puriya Dhanashri is an evening raga and brings out the mood of anticipation for a beautiful evening that would be coming in soon. Some feel this raga to be having a slight shade of separation or “Viraha Ras” from the 9 different “Rasas” (moods) associated with Indian classical music. The combination “Ni Dha Pa” in descend brings in the flavor of anticipation, I guess. Panditji’s creativity has enthralled the audiences in past and here also the development of the raga is simply exotic and yet very careful. In true meaning he is the pioneer in making the Santoor an instrument that now enjoys the status along with the traditional Indian classical music instruments like Sitar, Sarangi etc and has given it the status of a very prestigious instrument. No Indian classical music conferences are nowadays without a Santoor performance and that just shows the popularity he has brought to this instrument single-handedly. This folk instrument now enjoys its status at the pinnacle as a result of his personal efforts. Ustad Zakir Hussain has like always, brought a special feel to the album by the virtue of his very talented accompaniment that truly brings a different shine on the overall performance. This is a very beautiful album and highly recommended to vivid listeners of Indian classical music.


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,...
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