Maestro of the Indian Flute

Hariprasad Chaurasia

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Maestro of the Indian Flute Review

by Richie Unterberger

The two-CD Maestro of the Indian Flute compilation has more than two hours of recordings by Hariprasad Chaurasia spanning 1967-1994. Most of the pieces are ragas, and most are lengthy, with none shorter than five minutes, and one, "Raga Latangi," lasting almost half an hour. Divided into thematic "Innovations" and "Traditions" CDs, the tracks put the flute virtuoso in a pleasing variety of settings, though usually the mood is serene. Too, the instrumental setup usually sticks to flute, tabla, and tanpura, though guitar is also heard on all the selections on the "Innovations" disc; a santoor is used on "Raga Jinjhoti"; and zither graces a few of the ragas on the "Traditions" part of the program. While Chaurasia's career has been so extensive that even such a relatively lengthy disc can only offer a small slice of his recorded repertoire, this collection does well to provide a satisfying sampling of his work within its space limitations. Liner notes in English and French provide some very basic details of his career and commentary on each track.

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