Four excavated gems

Presented here are a few precious songs painstakingly dug out from my collection of old vinyl records, specially on requests from readers of this blog. Believe me, it took me a couple of days to find these nuggets.

Barkat Ali Khan – Pilu – Kaisa Jadu Daala :  Download

Faiyaz Khan – Bhairavi – Bajuband Khul Khul Jaye :  Download

Siddheshwari Devi – Dadra – Kaun Albele Kinare Jhamajham :  Download

Vilayat Hussain Khan – Patdeep – Rasiya Re :  Download


Barkat Ali Khan : four Thumris

Ustad Barkat Ali Khan (1905-1962) has left a lasting impression on various genres of Hindustani light classical music. He was younger brother of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. By several accounts Barkat Ali Khan was a superior Thumri singer but had to content himself by playing second fiddle to his elder brother.

After partition of India, Barkat Ali Khan migrated to Pakistan and concentrated on the lighter aspects of Hindustani classical music. He made a great contribution to North Indian light classical music. He was acknowledged as one of the greatest Thumri, Dadra, Geet and Ghazal artists. His outstanding rendering techniques of Purab and Punjab Ang have no match. He captured the audience all over India and Pakistan with his unique style of music.

Barkat Ali Khan – Ras Ke Bhare Tore Nain :  Download

Barkat Ali Khan – Kahe Satavo Mohe Sanwariya :  Download

Barkat Ali Khan – Lagi Naheen Chhootay :  Download

Barkat Ali Khan – Torey Naina Jadu Bhare :  Download

Ustad Barkat Ali Khan’s famous disciples include Ghazal singers Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, actress singer Noor Jehan, Begum Akhtar and many more. He died a premature death at the age of 57.


All in the family

Among all classical musicians, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was truly the king of emotions and thumris. He often used to say, “Many people have the misconception that classical music has no powers of expression. This is because generally our musicians are more interested in technical virtuosity. But emotion is the very soul of our music. In fact our music has the power to express the subtlest nuances of human emotions“. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan proved his point by creating his own style, which was an excellent blend of impressive technical mastery, appealing and emotional expressions. With this extraordinary blend, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan could render fluent khayals, sprightly thumris, erotic ghazals and soulful bhajans with an artistry all his own.

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – Kate Na Biraha Ki Raat :  (Download)

Bade Ghulam Ali Khan – Tirchhi Najaria Ke Baan :  (Download)

Barkat Ali Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s brother, also had great talent. Some even say, the sweetness of his voice at times surpassed that of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Khan Saheb, however, allowed his brother to only accompany him on the harmonium, but never to sing with him in public. Therefore Barkat Ali Khan remained unknown to most music lovers. It is difficult to say why Bade Ghulam Ali Khan always kept his brother in the background and did not give him the chance to display his talent independently.

Barkat Ali Khan – Ratiyan Kidhar Ganwaeen :  (Download)

Barkat Ali Khan – Mora Saiyan Tanak Dhun Laye :  (Download)

Munawar Ali Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s younger son, was his constant companion and was being groomed to succeed him. He always accompanied Khan Saheb on the tanpura and being so close to his father, he imbibed the vast treasure of his father’s musical knowledge. Naturally with such training and all the makings of a first grade artist, everyone expected him to follow in Bade Ghulam Ali Khan‘s footsteps. Unfortunately, Khan Saheb as with his brother Barkat Ali Khan, had always kept Munawar under his wing and never allowed him to bloom in his individual capacity.

Munawar Ali Khan – O Maar Daala Re Nazariya Milaikey :  (Download)

Munawar Ali Khan – Bhajan – Pag Ghunghroo :  (Download)

Raza Ali Khan is Munawar Ali Khan’s son. He received his early training from his grandfather, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and after that, extensively, from his father. He accompanied his father on concerts and sung alongside. Raza Ali Khan is an A-grade musician of the All India Radio. He is married to actress Neelima Azeem, mother of film actor Shahid Kapoor.

Raza Ali Khan – Prem Ke Phande Mein :  (Download)

Raza Ali Khan – Rang Laga Gayo :  (Download)

It is true that Bade Ghulam Ali Khan belonged to a long and illustrious musical lineage. But it was his genius that chiselled off the harsh crudities and angularites of the once ‘dryPatiala Gharana and lent it such a rare polish and glow that today it has achieved worldwide popularity. Bade Ghulam Ali Khan has left behind not only hundreds of singers trying to emulate him, but also thousands of music lovers who cherish the music of Patiala Gharana.

Comments are welcome.