photo Ira Landgarten
Raga Cassette 102:
NIKHIL BANERJEE sitar MAHAPURUSH MISRA tabla
Berkeley Little Theatre, July 26, 1968
Nikhil Banerjee sitar Mahapurush Misra
1/ alap 18:22 - 2/ jor 14:46 - 3/ slow tintal 25:45
4/ fast tintal 5:24 - 5/ jhalla 7:52 - 6/ jawab sawal 5:35
Total Time: 77:44 - ADD - Mono - RAGA-202
Padmabhushan Nikhil Banerjee (1931-1986) was one of the greatest sitarists of this century. His music earned deep respect among India's classical music aficionados, as well as gaining him a devoted international following. He was the disciple of the two greatest forces in 20th Century Indian classical instrumental music, Padmavibhushan Allauddin Khan and his son Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Though he recorded many LPs, few were of live concerts, in which his leisurely, majestic raga development was unsurpassed. Mr. Banerjee recorded more than two dozen albums, on the Indian EMI label, and for Sonodisc in France, Harmonia Mundi and Chhanda Dhara in Germany, Amigo in Sweden, and for Raga, Capitol, Connoisseur Society and Musical Traditions in the U.S. (Many of these recordings are available through the Ali Akbar College in San Rafael, CA.) Mr. Banerjee disliked being recorded, feeling that the process distracted and somewhat compromised the inner meditative quality of his music, and high fidelity live recordings are rare. To preserve his legacy and show the full scope of his musical vision, Raga Records is reproducing a series of unique live concert masters. This recording was made in Berkeley, before one of Mr. Banerjee's most appreciative American audiences, and broadcast by radio KPFA, during one of Mr. Banerjee's earliest visits to the U.S., sponsored by the American Society for Eastern Arts.
Manomanjari is a raga created by Mr. Banerjee, a mix of ragas Kalavati and Marwa. A studio recording made by Sonodisc in France included a brief 23 minute exposition of this raga (ESP 155530, 1976). It was his favorite LP. Raga Records has also released a 1972 Amsterdam performance of Manomanjari accompanied by Zamir Ahmed Khan (Raga-212).
Mahapurush Misra (photo) (1932-1987), a disciple of Pt. Anokhelal, was renowned for the clarity and sweetness of his tabla solos and accompaniment. He performed and recorded with many of India's foremost musicians.