Four Songs : my Choice 14

Here are a few fabulous songs from some of the all-time greats of Hindustani classical music, an aural feast, I am sure, for all classical music lovers.

Bhimsen Joshi – Abhogi – Charan Dhar Aayo :  Download

Rashid Khan – Pilu Thumri – Shaam Bhayi Bin Shyam :  Download

Vasundhara Komkali – Malwi Lok Geet – Apna Bhammar :  Download

Veena Sahasrabuddhe – Bhajan – Duje Ke Sang Nahi Jaun :  Download

.. more songs of my Choice »


Kumar Gandharva : geet varsha

Geet Varsha, by Kumar Gandharva, is a presentation of monsoon songs selected from both the folk and the classical repertoires. A theme concert, one of its kind, the presentation is so artistically seamless that the lay listener may fail to realise where the stylistic lines are drawn. Recorded in Delhi in 1978, this twin album of two hour duration has Kumar Gandharva’s wife Vasundhara Komkali accompanying him. Kumar Gandharva may have stood many a traditional norm on its head but none in his time could match his aural aesthetic. And his orchestration of voices here is absolutely enchanting. These recordings are very rare and not easily available.

The album opens with a song, Ghaam Pare Re, lamenting the heat of the summer in the afternoon Raga Marwa. Marwa is a raga which employs an imperfect consonance and Kumar Gandharva has used it to convey the oppressive heat and restlessness of the time just before the monsoons break. Then slowly he draws the listener into a layered landscape of gathering clouds, the first torrent of rain, the flashes of lightening, the yearning of the Nayika (heroine), the birth of Krishna on a dark rainy night. Apart from traditional rainy-season Ragas like the Miyan ki Mallar, Gaur Malhar, Sawani and Des, he also makes effective use of folk melodies from Malwa. The concluding piece, Heera Moti Neebaje in Raga Jaladhar Basant, evokes the silent moment after days of heavy rain, when one contemplates the fields around and realizes that they have turned green with vegetation, the earth giving forth its bounty after its thirst has been satisfied.

Ghaam Pare Re, Nayo Nayo Meha, Ghan Garje, Megha Ko Ritu :  Download

Kare Megha, Jaiyo Re Badarwa, Lago Sawan Mas, Bole Mora Re :  Download

Le Ja Sandeso, O Sahiba, Sawan Jhar Aayo, Main Kaise Aaun :  Download

O Dildara Aaja Re, Yasoda Ke Mandir, Amaraiyan Ke, Heera Moti :  Download

.. more songs of the Monsoon »


Gharana tradition : Gwalior

The Gharana tradition of India has fascinated music connoisseurs across the globe. In India a lot of importance is given to family heritage, be it wealth, profession or be it any form of art. The Gharana style of classical music being passed down through generations shows how much people of the subcontinent respect the presence of music in their lives. Although this style of classical music was more widespread earlier, it began to fade away as musicians began to travel, spreading their talents. During their widespread traveling they would give performances and also attend other concerts. They came across musicians from other musical Gharanas. And so instead of adhering to what they had been taught they began to imbibe other styles. Today, Gharana style of music has more or less faded away into oblivion with only a few musicians adhering to where they originally belong.

Gwalior Gharana is the oldest among all the Khayal Gayaki style Gharanas. The founder of this Gharana was Nathan Pir Bakhsh of Lucknow. During late 18th century he moved to the Gwalior court of Maharaja Jankoji Rao Scindia to escape the professional rivalry with another musician that had taken an ugly turn. The distinctive feature of this style of singing has been known for its lucidity and simplicity. Without going into further technicalities of this Gharana tradition, let us listen to some of its well known exponents.

Krishnarao Shankar Pandit – Tappa Kafi – O Miya Janewale :  Download

Vasundhara Komkali – Mishra Mand – Mriganayani :  Download

Madhup Mudgal – Alahiya Bilawal – Kavan Batariya :  Download

Meeta Pandit – Gaud Malhar – Umad Ghumad Aayo :  Download

Some of the more famous musicians belonging to Gwalior Gharana include D V Paluskar, Omkarnath Thakur, Kumar Gandharva, Malini Rajurkar, Amjad Ali Khan, Veena Sahasrabuddhe and many more. The list is long and one can go on and on. And of course the vocalists, and songs posted above, belong to the Gwalior Gharana.

.. more songs of other Gharanas coming soon.