Imrat Khan / Vajaha Shafaatullah

Rag Miyaki Todi/Bilaskhani Todi

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The current master of the surbahar, Ustad Imrat Khan played but two songs on this album (though in Indian Classical music, that's a relatively common length for songs). Both of the ragas used on the album are from the Todi group, a group of morning ragas that involve, among other things, a certain avoidance of the fifth note of the scale. The first work is Rag Miya ki Todi (Miya's Todi), written by Miya Tansen, a great musician at the court of 16th century Mughal emperor Akbar. In a semi-traditional maneuver (traditional for players of adaptability as high as Imrat Khan), Khan switches instruments partway through the raga to take up the sitar and a higher tempo. The second work, Rag Bilaskhani Todi, was written by Miya Tansen's son, Bilas Khan. This work invokes only the sitar, along with the addition of the droning tambura, absent on the first track. The sitar improvisation in use on this track is rather amazing in its speed and virtuosity. For people looking to find sitar works, this wouldn't be a bad choice, though some of Ravi Shankar's albums might be better. For people looking for surbahar works though, this album would make an excellent choice, as one of the current masters of the instrument plays it at full ability throughout.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
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