In India, the voice has been considered the major intstrument since time immemorial, and virtually all music genres have originated in the realm of vocal music. This collection presents three renowned Indian vocalists: Sulochana Brahaspati; Girija Devi, and Shruti Sadolikar. All three female artists had a thorough training in traditional vocal music which required immense dedication and sacrifice. They developed careers which took them to the zenith of their art. Today, they are admired and loved by a wide audience, both internationally as well as in their home country. This CD opens with three compositions set in “Raga Bilaskhani Todi” rendered in the khyal form, a sung classical or art music form in which, unusually for Indian vocal music, the words regularly take a secondary place to an abstract vocal sound. As befits this earnest morning raga — she sings of the torments of separation in Brijbhasha or Braja Bhasha, a dialect of Hindi which ousted Sanskrit as the language of song around the time of the Muslim invasion of Northern India — its exposition is slow and controlled. In the second piece, a tappa (a form closely associated with the Punjab) embedded in “Mishra Bhairavi, ” she entreats her lover to discover the wonders of nature to be found in the garden. Sultan Khan accompanies particularly sensitively on sarangi and Anindo Chatterjee on tabla.
01 Raga Bilaskhani Todi - Khyal - Tohe Sada Niharun - Vilambit Ektaal
02 Raga Bilaskhani Todi - Khyal - Damaru Naad - Jhaptal
03 Raga Bilaskhani Todi - Khyal - Sajan More Aaye - Drut Ektal
04 Raga Mishra Bhairavi - Tappa - Ai Najaaron Di Baharaan
The three-CD set Hindustani Classical Vocal features three prominent north Indian vocalists: Sulochana Brahaspati, Girija Devi, and Shruti Sadolikar. Each one of the set’s CDs is dedicated to one of these particular Hindustani divas. On disc number one, Sulochana Brahaspati presents “Raga Bilaskhani Todi” and “Raga Mishra Bhairavi.” Accompanied by the legendary Sultan Khan on sarangi (lute) and the tabla player’s tabla player Anindo Chatterjee, Sulochana Brahaspati performs “Mishra Bhairavi” with rhythmic sophistication and “Bilaskhani Todi” with solemnity and sobriety. The second disc features a relative newcomer in the khyal style of singing, Shruti Sdolikar, accompanied by Anand Krishna Kunte on sarangi, Uma Mehta, Kamaljit Kaur on tamburas, and — once again — the highly respected Anindo Chatterjee on tabla. Shruti Sdolikar and her ensemble deftly recite the late morning “Raga Miyan-ki-Todi,” the seven-beat morning “Raga Bibhas,” and what may be the most popular raga, “Raga Bhairavi.” The third and final disc in this set features the eminent vocalist Girija Devi. Backing Devi up is the widely known Ramesh Misra on sarangi, the charismatic Subhen Chatterjee on tabla, and Sudha Datta on tambura. Devi and her group perform three ragas: the nocturnal “Maru Bihag,” “Desh,” and the religio-erotic “Pilu.” The final cut on the disc is not a raga, strictly speaking. Rather, Devi’s fourth piece is performed in the dandra style of light classical music. Though no CD set could ever do complete justice to the variety and richness that exists in the Hindustani vocal scene, this CD set comes pretty close. With stellar performances by Sulochana Brahaspati, Girija Devi, and Shruti Sadolikar, Hindustani Classical Vocal should be heard by Indian music experts and neophytes alike. Source: http://www.cduniverse.com/