Concert for Peace: Royal Albert Hall

Ravi Shankar

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Concert for Peace: Royal Albert Hall Review

by Adam Greenberg

This is a live recording of a concert given by Ravi Shankar in 1993 and released to commemorate his 75th birthday a year and a half later. He is accompanied on tabla by virtuoso Zakir Hussain and on sarod by his own student (and virtuoso in his own right), Partha Sarathy. He begins the evening with his own interpretation of a rare raga, that of jait. He chose the version played here after researching a few possible forms of the raga that have appeared over the centuries (families, essentially, of ragas). After exploring the grounds of jait thoroughly, he moves on to kirwani, a raga adapted by Shankar from the Carnatic system. He draws out a mood of romanticism, eroticism, and happiness mainly, his preferred method of dealing with some of the madhur ragas. On the second disc, he continues on, performing "Raga Mishra Khamaj," an evening raga. He takes this one in the direction of thumri (light classical entertainment music, usually vocal) stylings. This final raga also features worthwhile solos from both Hussain and Sarathy. While the recording quality might not be as good as one might hope in some respects, this is a live recording on a minor label and is understandably at a lower level of engineering, perhaps. The music is nonetheless performed to perfection, as is always the case with Shankar. Some of the heat from his earlier playing days is perhaps missing from this album (along with other, newer albums), but Shankar can still perform at a higher level than 99-percent of the other players on the scene without breaking a sweat. For any fan of Shankar, this is probably already in their collection. For those looking to break into Indian classical music, other records from earlier in Shankar's career might make better starting points. For those who already know the music but don't have this album, give it a shot -- you might be surprised by his continued ability.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Ravi Shankar 55:23 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick