EMI's double-CD collection of Ravi Shankar's works including Western instruments, however, is one of the exceptions, for it adds a great deal even to the conversation carried on by those who have paid attention to the career of the man widely considered modern-day India's greatest musician. The attraction here, in a nutshell, is that this CD set brings together music recorded between 1967 and 1982, much of it only sporadically available up to now. There are two concertos for Shankar's sitar (a large Indian lute with sympathetically resonating strings) and orchestra, plus works he wrote for collaborations with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. For purposes of comparison, there's also one performance by Shankar alone.
Here at last is the definitive Ravi Shankar Collection - ten discs covering 40 years of the master's recordings for EMI. This set includes collaborations with such luminaries as Ali Akbar Khan, Yehudi Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and a host of other musicians both east and west. Besides the ten discs, there is a 27 page booklet (English, German, French) and exclusive access to a website with additional audio and video content. If you are familiar with Ravi Shankar, there is little I can say beyond the fact that the discs are exquisitely mastered, generously full, and contain a tremendous wealth of performances from an incomparable career. And If you have not yet heard the music of Ravi Shankar - one of the greatest improvisational musicians of this, or any other age - this is your opportunity to enter into a musical experience that goes beyond hearing, beyond words, resonating deep into the depths of the infinite soul.
Vision of Peace is a reissue compilation of two of Ravi Shankar's most celebrated Deutsche Grammophon LP recordings 'Towards the Rising Sun' and 'Ravi Shankar Plays Ragas' dating from the late 70's. Shankar's crossover efforts during this period were groundbreaking in their day (indeed, how many have followed his lead in ours!) and here for instance Japanese koto virtuoso Susumo Miyashita and shakuhachi master Hozan Yamamoto are featured in the ensemble in five selections. This is a joyous, inspired celebration by India's most renowned living musical ambassador of peace.
This is a live recording of a concert given by Ravi Shankar in 1993 and released to commemorate his 75th birthday a year and a half later. He is accompanied on tabla by virtuoso Zakir Hussain and on sarod by his own student (and virtuoso in his own right), Partha Sarathy. He begins the evening with his own interpretation of a rare raga, that of jait. He chose the version played here after researching a few possible forms of the raga that have appeared over the centuries (families, essentially, of ragas). After exploring the grounds of jait thoroughly, he moves on to kirwani, a raga adapted by Shankar from the Carnatic system. He draws out a mood of romanticism, eroticism, and happiness mainly, his preferred method of dealing with some of the madhur ragas.
“One of the most masterly instrumentalists in the world today”— New York Times. Here, collected for the first time in a 3-CD set, are all of Ravi Shankar’s recordings on Deutsche Grammophon brought together in celebration of his 90th birthday. For George Harrison he was “the Godfather of Western Music;” for Yehudi Menuhin “his genius and his humanity can only be compared to that of Mozart’s.” No other musician of his time has garnered such glowing and enthusiastic praise.