Khan, Ustad Vilayat : The Genius Of Ustad Vilayat Khan
The Genius Of Ustad Vilayat Khan
Khan, Ustad Vilayat
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1. RAGA TILAK – KAMOD
2. RAGA BHAIRAVI (THUMRI)
3. RAGA AHIR BHAIRAV
4. RAGA KHAMAJ (THUMRI)
‘What was really extraordinary about him was that his instrument, the sitar, actually sung.’
Shyam Benegal, Indian film director and screenwriter
Ustad Vilayat Khan was one of the most important figures of the twentieth century in north Indian classical music. He was, as Ravi Shankar put it, along with himself and Ali Akbar Khan, one of the original “Three Musketeers,” of Indian musicians who had conquered the west.
Vilayat Khan’s was a personality shaped by the conviction that it was destined to leave its mark on the world. He would not have been happy with just being the greatest sitarist; he had to be amongst the all-time greats of Hindustani music. This set him on a path of passionate absorption of the tradition, unrelenting innovation and the pursuit of superhuman standards of perfection in the execution of his musical vision.
Khan worked selectively within cinema, scoring Satyajit Ray’s meditation on decaying feudalism, Jalsaghar (The Music Room) in 1959. Ray considered Vilayat Khan to be a better sitarist even than Ravi Shankar.
Ten years later, James Ivory – who had admired Khan’s work for the great Bengali director- commissioned Khan to write music for The Guru, a fictionalized version of George Harrison’s first visit to India (starring Rita Tushingham, Michael York, Madhur Jaffrey and Barry Foster)and perhaps the least known Merchant-Ivory production.
Our edition combines Ustad Vilayat Khan’s historic first two long-players, recorded in India in 1961 and 1962.