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ragamala

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Reply with quote  #61 
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Originally Posted by "Raga_Mala"
We also have recordings of full-length Raag renderings from this time period which survived to be put on CD. For instance, on the "Vision of Peace" album there is a 50-minute Raga Jogeshwari recorded in 1980. This is a truly lovely recording! Find it if you can. (Btw, in that Jogeshwari, over half the length was devoted to Alapana, with the two gats taking up slightly less than half). On the same album (2 CD set), we are also treated to a 24-minute Rag Hemant, and a 24-minute Rag Hameer, both of which are of the highest caliber. There are also two 20+ minute Raag's recorded with utmost sensitivity on the album "Homage to Mahatma Gandhi," (in addition to a tabla solo), though I do not know what year that recording came from.
Firstly I can say I agree with much or most of what you say, let me put one point another way. I think the distinction I would make is that in my opinion the desire to proselytise has left us with in some cases a recorded legacy that doesn't do Ravi full justice as a performing artist. The commercial interest here (including the constant regurgitation of older recordings rather than new releases of older concert perfs) is no doubt coming from the interest of the recording companies rather from Ravi himself, who as you say is above these things - at least now.

As a pedantic note, I'd point out that the Visions of Peace set was assembled from two earlier releases, the 1979 Jogeshwari and Hameer from the Spirit of Peace album, and the totally unrelated 1978 Towards the Rising Sun, about this latter I will say nothing.

According to my info the Jogeshwari was recorded October 1978 in a Paris studio. Although a good piece, to me it lacks the vigour of a live recording. There are indeed numerous concert recordings around now, thanks very much to the internet, which to my mind give a broader impression of Ravi's performances, and an occasional full-fledged 90 minute or so raga, although many, even India concert recordings, have shorter raga times.
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Raga_Mala

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Reply with quote  #62 
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Originally Posted by "ragamala"
As a pedantic note, I'd point out that the Visions of Peace set was assembled from two earlier releases, the 1979 Jogeshwari and Hameer from the Spirit of Peace album, and the totally unrelated 1978 Towards the Rising Sun, about this latter I will say nothing.
I knew this...but not sure how it affects the interpretation.

As a matter of fact, to out-pedant the pedant, it would seem the music is from four different sources (based on the different copyrights)...The "Rising Sun" material is copyright 1978, the Raga Hemant (Homage to Baba Allaudin) is copyright 1981, the Jogeshwari is copyright 1980 and Raga Hameer is copyright 1979. But again, what does this matter?

The interpretation does not change--that these are (somewhat) longer Rag Recordings stemming from a period when Raviji was still in his prime.

I will agree with you when you say his commercially-touted material does not give us the best portrait of Raviji's genius, HOWEVER I will disagree with anyone who asserts that even those recordings that were/are commercially pushed (such as his LPs and EPs from this period) are poor-quality performances. Even the worst Ravi recording is still usually pretty good work. (Refer to the Zakirji comment above "...you never hear of a... Shankr concert being off-color...even his...mezzo-mezzo concert is of a totally different standard").

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ragamala

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Originally Posted by "Raga_Mala"
As a matter of fact, to out-pedant the pedant, it would seem the music is from four different sources (based on the different copyrights)...The "Rising Sun" material is copyright 1978, the Raga Hemant (Homage to Baba Allaudin) is copyright 1981, the Jogeshwari is copyright 1980 and Raga Hameer is copyright 1979. But again, what does this matter?
Indeed - but I'm not sure what is the justification for putting out this double cd release with a mix of japanese/ICM fusion and a longer alap piece plus a couple of stocking fillers? Who but a died-in-the-wool Ravi fan would want the Japanese stuff as part of the package to complete a collection? The Jogeshwari was released earlier on CD.... Main thing is it is an old studio recording (unless you can correct me).

Wouldn't it be nice to have a record company issue some "new" concert recordings from someone's archives?
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Raga_Mala

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Originally Posted by "ragamala"

Wouldn't it be nice to have a record company issue some "new" concert recordings from someone's archives?
AGREED!

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"Not all is good that bears an ancient name,
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Wise men approve the good, or new, or old;
The foolish critic follows where he's told."
-Kalidas, Malavikagnimitra I.i.2
Trans. Arthur Ryder
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John

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Reply with quote  #65 
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Wouldn't it be nice to have a record company issue some "new" concert recordings from someone's archives?

AGREED!


That would be wonderful. It beggars belief when one thinks of all those recordings gathering dust in some archive, bound-up in red tape and lofty ideals. Not having to rely on 47th generation mp3's of bootleg cassette 'masters' with sketchy information about the performance... No disrespect to the people who go to great, great lengths to circulate such recordings - I'd be lost without them!

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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #66 
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That would be wonderful. It beggars belief when one thinks of all those recordings gathering dust in some archive, bound-up in red tape and lofty ideals. Not having to rely on 47th generation mp3's of bootleg cassette 'masters' with sketchy information about the performance... No disrespect to the people who go to great, great lengths to circulate such recordings - I'd be lost without them!
Here Here Friend John.
You all know my extreme views on piracy - BUT - These folks, I feel, are definately preservasionists. These long out of print masterpieces will surely be lost to us otherwise. Thanks for the hard work all you miners of lost gold.

HG 8)

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trexcat

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Reply with quote  #67 
Regarding the recording performance quality debate, this is from Ravi-ji's new record label "East Meets West Music" :

"RAVI SHANKAR | THE NINE DECADES SERIES
The Nine Decades series features rare and never-before released recordings hand-picked by Ravi Shankar from his vast archive and lovingly remastered for optimal listening experience. With live performances and studio recordings pivotal to his development as an artist and reflective of unique times and places, the Nine Decades series provides insightful perspective on a career that spans 70-plus years and offers a direct bridge between the artist himself and his listeners.

RAVI SHANKAR | NINE DECADES VOLUME 1 (1967 - 1968)
Raga Gangeshwari, the centerpiece of Volume 1, takes listeners to an outdoor concert at a temple on the banks of the Ganges in 1968. Though recorded with one hand-held microphone, Raga Gangeshwari is representative of the archive's many treasures, which the artist describes in his liner notes as "not recorded with sophisticated audio equipment and yet they exhibit the power of life in live performance that has a value beyond any technological shortcomings." The intimate quality of the recording and virtuosic playing allows listeners to experience a page from the artist’s diary circa 1968. Raga Gangeshwari is performed with Kamala Chakravarty on tanpura and the great Ustad Alla Rakha on tabla."

Having heard and enjoyed many of his abbreviated vintage LP recordings, this is quite refreshing and may offer a new angle on this period of his life that most people have not heard. I'm sure the rest in the series will be excellent if being selected by Panditji himself for release (instead of by record labels re-packaging and re-releasing old recording to make a buck). Hopefully all will be previously unreleased material.....
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