Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Eastern Music
Indian Women Singers

Sulochana Brahaspati, Girija Devi and Shruti Sadolikar with sarangi and tabla.
Nimbus (Hindustani Classical Vocal series) NI 1740 71'40" + 74' + 65'

This is a very pleasing compilation of recordings from the early '90s. Sulochana Brahaspati represents the Rampur style and is accompanied by the great Sultan Klan on sarangi (bowed lute) with Anindo Chatterjee (tabla), who also supports Shruti Sadolikar, noted in previous reviews for her own solo CD and for her key role in Nimbus's The Raga Guide.

Sulochana Brahaspati sings the Raga Bilaskhani Todi (khyal) and a Punjabi tappa, which requires and receives a tremendous sense of rhythm and technique. Girija Devi sings songs from Varanasi, and is supported by sarangi and tabla players from the same area. After a khyal raga Maru Bihag she performs a thumri and finally a light classical dadra song.

Shruti Sadolikar is especially sweet-toned and her singing has an air of sincerity which is particularly winning. She sings three ragas, finishing with a thumri in raga Bhairavi, currently the most popular of all.

This is music to be heard, not drily explained on the printed page. The notes deal mostly with the careers and genealogy of the performers, but all the ragas are described, with music examples to hear and rehear, in The Raga Guide, which has properly been described as a godsend and a quick, easy and reliable guide to this complicated and still (for Westerners) esoteric music. At a bargain price, it is excellent value and will give several hours of pleasure [Nimbus 5536/9] approx £28. See also Immersion in Indian music S&H July 1999


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

Reviews from previous months

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