Rag Shankara and Rag Mala in Jogia



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Review "The two ragas that he performs here are exceptionally fine ones." John Bauman, Fanfare---- "Ram Narayan is the greatest living sarangi virtuoso, and this recording shows him in sparkling form. He plays two ragas on this well-recorded studio CD from Nimbus, with a generous total playing time of 71 minutes allowing an adequate exposition of each raga. The first is Shankara, a raga with both dignity and beauty. The beauty is established early on in the alap. The development of the raga continues through the alap into the jor, where the swooping, gliding and rise of the rapid note-patterns show the master is on superb form. Ram Narayan is joined eventually by Anindo Chaterjee on tabla, and the performances continues with a beautiful bandish in a slow teental, remarkable for the musicality and expression through Ram Narayan's superb bowing. The bandish ends after a display of the superbly executed tans which are Ram Narayan's trademark. The second piece is more relaxed, a Ragamala in Jogia. In ragamala the artist can deviate from the main raga into others, and Ram Narayan musicality allows him to weave in and out of other ragas seamlessly. This time the majority of the performance is accompanied by tabla, and the pace picks up to an exciting climax. Anindo Chaterjee is a perfect accompanist, with a wonderful crisp style and a sensitivity to the soloist's needs. He also, as demonstrated here, can develop some fine tabla improvisation in his own solo slots. The musicality of the ragas performed in this recording, and the fact that Ram Narayan was obviously in marvellous form, make this an excellent showcase of the artist, or a great introduction for those unfamiliar with the range and depth of the sarangi."- Anonymous---- "A sarangi is a short, fat, bowed, multi-stringed instrument, about 30 or so inches long. It makes sounds like no other, varied and beautiful. According to the liner notes, it has been used mainly to accompany vocalists (for example, Sulochana Brahaspati on NI 5305 and Shruti Sadolikar on NI5346), but Ram Naryan and others have exploited its capabilites as a solo instrument. The sound can range from a little jagged, with lots of rosin, to plaintive or lyrical, to ethereal. Ram Naryan seems to make the most of it, and plays with the great concentration needed to play ragas lasting over 1/2 hour. I am not competent to comment on his execution of the raga forms, which as usual, start with exploratory solos, with the tambura coming in later, and the tabla joining last for a grand ending. But a sarangi does not sound anything like a violin or wooden flute (i.e., Hariprasad Chaurasia), much less a plucked instrument like a sitar or sarod. It has a totally different feel and range of expression. Anindo Chatterjee on the tabla is very effective, as well, and he appears on a number of Nimbus recordings. There is nothing else in the world which sounds like a sarangi. For a different sort of beauty, get this disc!"- Anonymous
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