By Sallow Cheeks
I would give it a full 5 stars, but the breaks seperating the parts of Raga Desi aren't smooth; in fact, they're a bit jarring. But the musicianship is (no pun intended) breathtaking.
The charm of the bamboo flute...
By This And That
Simplest of all the instruments, but some of the deepest sounds! Some say that the sound of flute is closest to the human soul. This album offers a good mix of sublime (Desi), peaceful (Shuddh Sarang), and light (Folk Tune) ragas. Give a listen!
Listen to this before you die...
Years ago, I hadn't heard Indian classical music. I used to be just happy with a few film songs. One fine day, out of curiosity, I picked up an album by Ravi Shankar. It had just two ragas -- one was Desi (featured in this album) and the other was "Yaman Manj". Raga Desi, being an immensely sublime raga, stirred me so deeply that I was fully drawn into Indian classical, especially instrumental.
Since then, I have collected thousands of albums featuring Indian classical music -- North Indian, South Indian, vocal, and instrumental... If I were to choose just three of the musicians among the hundreds I have listened to, I would pick: Ravi Shankar, Shivkumar Sharma, and Hariprasad Chaurasia.
About this album:
Since I would buy just any album that had "Desi" in it, I bought this a long time ago. Over the years, I have learnt a little about ragas and I am aware that Desi is a very difficult raga and it is reserved for the maestros. Hariprasad Chaurasia, being an absolute master of his art, treats the raga very well with a long sequence of unfoldment called "Alap" and "Jod" which sets the serene mood of the raga. It is followed by a nice composition in the 10 beat cycle of Jhap taal.
The other two compositions -- Shuddh Sarang and Folk Tune -- are also very nice to hear.
If you want to experience the power of music, try this album!
Amazing tonal quality
The tonal quality of Hariprasad's flute is simply amazing, unparalelled. This album is a treasure for the lovers of soothing music. The first raga (tracks 1 to 4) is especially suited for healing / yoga / massage etc. Highly recommended.
Soft sounds of the flute are so nice to listen to. Make sure you try this ultimately relaxing album.
Original inlay notes
By Original Inlay Notes
Celebrated flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, is one of the most famous and popular musicians of India. His consummate artistry has distinguished him as the greatest living master of the North Indian bamboo flute, acclaimed both at home and abroad.
Unlike many other great Indian artists, Pt. Chaurasia does not come from a family of musicians. Rather, music is the path he found for himself. He began his studies in Allahabad at the age of 15, learning classical vocal technique from Pandit Rajaram. Within a year, however, he had switched to flute playing, after hearing Pandit Bholanath, a noted flautist from Varanasi. He studied with Pt. Bholanath for eight years. Later he received further guidance from Srimati Annapurna Devi, the daughter of famous musician Ustad Allauddin Khan.
Under her training his music acquired a new depth and dimension. As a musician Hariprasad Chaurasia is a rare combination of innovator and traditionalist. He has significantly expanded the expressive possibilites of classical North Indian flute playing through his masterful blowing technique adaptation of alap and jor to the flute. He is immensely popular in India and abroad.
He has not only made numerous recordings of north Indian classical music but also composed music for Indian films with santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. And some of them have scored gold discs. He has also performed with the Western musicians such as John McLaughlin and Jan Garbarek.
At present flute and Hariprasad Chaurasia are synonymous. The tonal quality of his flute remains unparalleled. One feels a catch at one's throat while listening to his mesmerizing melodies.
A rare morning raga with complicated ascending and descending:
N S R M P N S
S P D M P R G S R N S
The mood of the Alap is meditative or prayer while in Jod it is devotional. An unusual beginning with a lot of stress on Madhyam, slowly the Raga Desi later follows the trodden path. His soft and light jump ("chuut") from the fifth note to the octave is remarkable. He also makes a departure in "jod" with lovely little rhythm patterns. Beginning from the ninth matra he starts his gat to the accompainiment of Madan Mishra in Jhap Taal (10 beats devided in 2 + 3 + 2 + 3). He repeats his first line several times to help the listeners enjoy the rhythm of it.
Raga Shuddha Sarang is a noon melody. The mood is sober and sonorous.
S R M P N S
S N D P M P m R N D S N R S
With an evocative opening Chaurasia plays Shuddha Sarang in charmingly. Right in the beginning there is a small "Tehai" which speaks volumes of the artists imagination, and all through the recording you feel the lilt of the music. The raga has been played with great feeling and the two madhyams could not be more judiciously used. The two compositions are played in Teen Taal (16 beats devided in 4 + 4 + 4 + 4).
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia has concluded this recording with a most delightful Dhun, a folk tune from Uttar Pradesh, which haunts you even after the music has stopped. The beauty of this recording has been enormously enhanced because of the brilliant tabla accompaniment by Madan Mishra.
Hariprasad Chaurasia - Flute
Madan Mohan Mishra - Tabla
Shefali Nag - Tamboura
Ute Gleitze – Tamboura