Wednesday, May 04, 2011

NEWs - 1


Of late I have been listening quite a bit of classical stuff, both Western and Hindustani classical. It seemingly started with a list of greatest classical composers of all times published in some magazine of repute (I forgot the name but I think it was NY Times), that ranked top ten western classical greats, including the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and others. What intrigued me was the presence of certain artists who I had no idea about. Barring the usual suspects like Mozart, Bach etc, there were fewer names that I knew. Guys like Wagner, Schubert, Handel and others, who are very well renowned but are not so famous amongst average Indian fellows like me whose knowledge about Western Classical is limited to that gained through high school textbooks which often limit themselves to Mozart and Beethoven.
Aided by Grooveshark I have so far embarked on my little journey towards understanding and appreciating the work of these great masters. Needless to say that my enthusiasm and excitement is purely that of a listener seeking musical euphoria and ecstasy through these masterpieces and not of someone who is trying to build his knowledge in western classical. I guess so far I have been able to develop a bit of taste for this kind of music and I am glad for taking this small positive step.
Similar is my journey to the Indian Classical. Indian classical music reminds me of few things; Doordarshan's Shastriya Sangeet ka Karyakram, which sounded so bore during childhood and 'Call of the Valley' a Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shivkumar Sharma cassette that my father had bought. My father was never a keen music lover, I wonder why he ended up buying that partiular album but I remember him being very enthusiastic. It was perhaps the only album he ever bought. Sadly though, I ended up dubbing some regular bollywood stuff on top it, cos nobody used to listen to it anyway. Little did I know at that time that this is one legendary album. My father never scolded me for that but as I look at it now, I feel bad about it. The only saving grace is that I still have that cassette, of course sans the songs that were originally recorded on it.
My taste in Indian Classical is limited mostly to flute and santoor but I often enjoy other instruments like shahnai and saarangi as well. My favorite though, remian the thumris. Not classical in the true sense, more of semi-classical but there are times when Shobha Gurtu or Girija Devi is what constantly plays on my music player.
This recent activity has also resulted me in reading MUSIC, a monthly magazine published by BBC dedicated to classical music. What I like about this magazine is that even though I dont understand a whole lot about Western classical, the magazine is still quite an enjoyable experience :)