- Sarod Recital
Great Master Great Music - All India Radio Recordings
EMI India - ECSD 2757 - P.1976
A1 Raga-Kaushi Bhairav Alap: Gat Vilambit and Drut-Tritaal 21'05
B1 Raga-Hem Alap: Gat Drut-Tritaal 19'40
Some of the records I will post the following days are answers to several requests I have received from old friends and new. Some asking for flute and some for sarod and more sitar, and some being much more specific than that. Personally, like I have repeatedly said before I enjoy vocal music much more than instrumental but that does not mean I don't listen to any instrumental. I certainly do, and although neither sarod nor flute are any of my favourite instruments (these days more so because of my increasing tinnitus) I can anyhow sometimes find great enjoyment in both of them.
I do however prefer reeds over flutes and bowed over plucked strings, especially when they are exploring the lower registers. It is maybe already evident from my previous posts of Bismillah Khan and Ram Narayan. And when it comes to plucked strings, Surbahar and Rudra Vina takes precedence over any sarod or sitar. All that said I still think this post is long overdue. Mainly because of the increadible influence on most of the North Indian classical music that the western audiences first came into contact with. Here is an old recording with an even older Allauddin Khan. At ninety years of age he was no longer in his prime but the recording is nevertheless most interesting, especially considering the scarcity of longer recordings with him. This is also a call to anyone that has any of the older recordings by him, when he was still at his peak, to come forward and share them. There are many who would eagerly like to wrap their ears around any such sounds. Anyhow here is another recording of the few that was released from the many treasures of the All India Radio Archives.
Allauddin Khan, also known as Baba Allauddin Khan (ca. 1881 – 6 September 1972), was a Bengali sarodiya and multi-instrumentalist, composer and one of the most renowned music teachers of the 20th Century in Indian classical music.
In 1935, he toured Europe, along with Uday Shankar's ballet troupe, and later also worked at his institute, 'Uday Shankar India Culture Centre' at Almora for a while. During his lifetime, he composed several ragas and laid the foundation of a modern Maihar gharana. Amongst his recording which are rare, the most important ones are those he recorded with the All India Radio in 1959-60.
He was the father of sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi, and the uncle of Raja Hossain Khan, as well as the guru of Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh, Bahadur Khan, Sharan Rani and other influential musicians. He himself was a disciple of many great musicians, including Gopal Chandra Banerjee, Lobo, Munne Khan, and most importantly after a lot of struggle managed to become a shagird of the legendary Veena player, Wazir Khan of Rampur.
(snipped from wikipedia here)
Pt. Kanthe Maharaj-ji, U. Ali Akbar Khan, U. Allauddin Khan, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee and Pt. Kaviraj Ashutosh Bhattacharya, with a young Aashish Khan on tamboura - Kolkata 1952
It is my proud privilege to introduce to the young generation my guru, guide and father Padma Vibhushan Acharya Allauddin Khan.
This disc has been prepared from the Acharya's tapes obtained from All India Radio. Originally this music was recorded when he was in his nineties. This Long Play record is brought out by HMV so that it may be preserved as a cherishable memento of musical history rather than as a specimen of his great art. To this musical history the Acharya contributed so much, for the benefit of so many.
Comment on the record by
Ali Akbar Khan
Acharya Allauddin Khan.
One more vital link with our musical past snapped with the passing away of Acharya Allauddin Khan in 1972 Indeed, it marked the end of a great era - the era of giants in music. The centenarian Acharya was much more than a maestro, he was a phenomenon that just came off. His contribution to the enrichment of our musical heritage remains sui generis. He was steeped in the tradition of old masters. But his vast vision, his deep respect for western masters and his catholic understanding of their classical traditions lent a halo of universality to his art. In this sense, he was a reformist among conservatists and a conservatist among reformists.
The early decades of this century witnessed a near revolution in the time-honoured concept of instrumentation. And Acharya Allauddin Khan was the visionary who pioneered it. His fusion of gayaki, layakari and tantrakari, which enjoys such a tremendous vogue today, was no departure from the fundamentals of our tradition, but a unique combination of contemporary modes of instrumental expression without bias to any particular technique. This synthesis of tradition and experiment, of past achievements and future possibilities, lent a new dimension to North Indian instrumental music. The vitality of the stylisation, as also the versatility of its creator, is borne out by the fact that four of our greatest virtuosi are his disciples: his son Ali Akbar Khan, the inimitable sarodist, his daughter Annapoorna Devi, the undisputed Surbahar and sitar player, his son-in-law Ravi Shankar, the peerless sitarist, Timir Baran Bhattacharya and the incomparable flutist Pannalal Ghosh Adding to this impressive roll of honour are the Acharya's grandsons Ashish Khan, Dhynesh Khan, and a host of others.
Allauddin Khan's artistic intuition found its eloquent expression in many ways. The sarod was his first love — and last. But his virtuosity over a number of other instruments — string, wind, bow and percussion varieties — was truly astounding. The impressive line-up of ragas he created, such as Kaushi Bhairav, Hemant, Prabhakali, Hem Bihag and a host of others and also many talas, are his precious contribution to North Indian music. As a performing artiste, Acharya Allauddin Khan presented all that was best from the vast and varied Hindustani repertory and something more: the mystical element in music which in turn created a mood of spiritual awareness in the listener. This quality of detached intensity was probably inherent in the genius of the Acharys who, while yet a boy of eight, ran away from home to seek musical faith more than musical career. The saga of the sacrifices he made in the pursuit of his muse has few parallels in the world's musical history.
Born in 1862 in the village Shibpur (Tripura), now in Bangladesh, Allauddin Khan inherited his passion for music from his father, Sadhu Khan. After weeks of wandering in Dacca and Nawagram and days of starvation in Calcutta, the youngster at last found a great and magnanimous guru, the well-known musician Nanu Gopal, who promised to train him in vocal music. Pandit Nandlal, another guru, agreed to teach him tabla and mridang.
He devoted the next seven years of his life to vigorous and constant practice of vocal music. On the death of Nanu Gopal, Allauddin Khan decided to devote himself in future only to instrumental music. He joined the band of Habu Dutt, the well-known brother of Swami Vivekanand and learnt various instruments from him. Allauddin Khan's teacher in violin was Mr. Lobo, the conductor of the famous band at Eden Garden at Calcutta.
After three years of strenuous work, Allauddin Khan met Ustad Ahmed Ali, the famous sarod player, who accepted him as his pupil. After some years he left Ahmed Ali and went to the then Nawab of Rampur, a great patron of music. A descendant of Mian Tansen, Ustad Mohammed Wazir Khan Seniya. who was an eminent veena maestro in the court of Rampur. gave intensive training to Allauddin Khan to enable him to become an accomplished artiste. Allauddin Khan spent about thirty years of his life for this rigorous training. When he appeared at the concert platform, he was hailed as an outstanding sarodist throughout the country.
Allauddin Khan in 1929.
Allauddin Khan had formed the Maihar State Band, In later years he become the court musician of the State of Maihar. In 1935, he went on a concert tour to Europe with Uday Shankar's ballet troupe. He toured throughout the world and thrilled his audiences, for many years he continued to teach the poor musicians at Maihar and Allahabad and carried on his pioneering work in orchestration of Indian music.
A saintly personality, Acharya Allauddin Khan had dedicated himself and his music to Sharda Ma and was a strict vegetarian and disciplinarian. He regularly said his "namaz" or prayers five times every day. He was the first recipient of the President's Award in 1952 and Padma Bhushan in 1958, Desikottama from Vishwa Bharati in 1961 and Padma Vibhushan in 1971. But he remained essentially a lone artiste, unspoilt by name and fame, always immersed in the holiness of his art.
from the sleevenotes
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