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.
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.
Two DVD discs featuring master sitar player, Ravi Shankar. Disc one is "Ravi Shankar: Between Two Worlds," which documents two years in the life of Ravi Shankar as he travels between India and America. Using archive footage from the 1930's to the 1960's, we learn about his collaborations with such Western musicians as George Harrison, John Coltrane and Yehudi Menuhin. Disc two features Ravi Shankar performing two ragas with his daughter Anoushka in Union Chapel in London in the summer of 2002.