Words by Maria Lord
This album is part of the new Utsav! series that celebrates the ‘life, music and legacy of Ravi Shankar.’ The wonderful Hindustani vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande had recorded these ragas as a tribute to Ravi Shankar (who composed them) before his death in 2012. These performances are not only gripping in their own right, but also demonstrate just how creative Shankar could be, yet at the same time so deeply rooted in his tradition. The notes by Ravi and Sukanya Shankar on each of the ragas are particularly informative, giving an insight into how they came about and how he managed to bring elements of Karnatic music into his own North Indian tradition. The singing, needless to say, is outstanding, with Ashwini Bhide Deshpande showing how this profound feeling for raga has been passed on to a younger generation of artists. The most memorable tracks are the substantial rendition ‘Janasanmodini’, in which Deshpande maintains a wonderful sense of line, and the thumri-inspired ‘Pancham Se Gara’.
TRACK TO TRY: ‘Janasanmodini’