On Thursday, January 30, 2014
The Valley Recalls has moved on to altogether different level of performance and complexity, combining the highest standards of classical rigour (Raga Bhoopali) with breath-taking presentation of a thematic form - improvised, less rigorous, and thoroughly
Bhoopali is an ancient and a very popular Indian classical raga that has peace and devotion as its essence. It is usually played in the evening or early nights. This raga is used by the classical as well as popular/film musicians, very frequently.
This is a live recording where Santoor pioneer Shivkumar Sharma is accompanied by the tabla maestro Zakir Hussain. Their combination is something ecstatic. The quality of recording is excellent too. The open-stringed nature of Santoor gives a very magical touch to Rag Bhoopali, especially the crescendo created during the Jod phase and in the fast tempo Tarana played in Ek Taal.
I have heard that musicians always prefer to play the music to live audiences, rather than recording in the confines of a studio. This album is an excellent example of the freedom, space, and the inspiration enjoyed by the musicians in a live concert set-up. The tabla accompaniment is superlative and stands as an example for the rapport that these two great musicians have developed between them.
For those who enjoy elaborate rendition of classical music, this album is a must. There was a time when I had this music loaded into my car for more than six months and it was my daily routine to listen to this music while driving. Every time, it was a refreshing experience and it had a very soothing effect on my mind.
I consider this album as one of the top five classical albums rendered by the great maestro Shivkumar Sharma.
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