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trippy monkey

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barend

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There is no best. Music is not a competition and can not be measured. It's a matter of personal taste.
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chrisitar

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Yes, it's completly *cough* Nikhil Banerjee *cough* subjective
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Bakersbites786

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Couldn't agree more *cough* Ustad Rais Khan *cough.*
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trippy monkey

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cwroyds

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There is no "Best".
There is only your personal favorite.
My personal favorite player is Nikhil Banerjee by far.
No one else comes close, in terms of my enjoyment of his playing.
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fossesitar

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I have to say, from a recent concert I attended at Princeton University - from which I have STILL not recovered more than a year later - that in my opinion, when you combine technical prowess with musicianship at a subllime level, the greatest living sitar player is Ustad Shahid Parvez. If Rais Khan is still alive I would give every kudo and respect to his unbelievable talent and virtuosity.

I have been fortunate to attend concerts (in their prime) for UVK, PRS, PNB, Rais Khan at an advanced age and very frail, and USP..... I never caught UVK at his highest level. The two greatest sitar concerts I have attended in my lifetime were Ravi Shankar at the Calcutta Opera House in the late 60s and Ustad Shahid Parvez at Princeton University 2 or 3 years ago. Of those two USP takes the cake and he didn't even have a top level tabla player just a very skilled college student from Princeton. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a USP recital do yourself a favor and do not miss that chance. I drove all the way from North Carolina to Princeton and it was SO worth it.

Great musicians are incomparable by definition, this is just my 2C. GF
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OM GUY

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I've always been partial to Ashwin Batish. Kind of had the hots for him ever since watching his style of changing sitar strings in his videos.. .... :roll:
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Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!
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barend

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George Harrison
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coyootie

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probably the worst "sitar-player" charlatan, or delusional "musician", that I can think of:



enjoy.
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trippy monkey

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Jaime

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without a question the love guru


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so many Ragas, so little time.
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Sobers

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Who is the best sitar player in the world?

The answer depends on your taste and 'talim' in Indian music.
Which style you prefer? But if you are not an 'advanced' listener you can't distinguish so easily. If you start listening you will probably start with Pt Ravi Shankar or Ud Vilayat Khan then you will realise the other artists and you may finally rest upon Pt Nikhil Bandopadhyay.
This will make you a progressive listener.
And if you are a practitioner..... you will do your riyaaz year after year and will tend to a distinct style or will start liking an artist.

Pt Ravi Shankar plays the dhrupad ang alap, jor (in seniya beenkar format moving into kharaj) then starts a bilambit gat (with some khayal gayaki involved in it) he then starts either some layakari with complex bol formations or some jamjama from his own creative repertoire then he enters into a drut gat and starts some taan-tora again with changing bols. He never plays too fast but his canvas is vast. He chooses the most difficult of talas and can do the layakari fusing northers and southern styles. His interpretation of any raga is undoubtedly perfect and he is primarily the master of Indian classical music.

Ud Vilayat Khan plays his self developed gayaki ang (a speciality of Etawah gharana). He starts a bilambit gat in pure khayal ang with vocal alankars imparted in it (kirana style). He plays the whole asthayi antara then raise the tempo and starts the layakari. The layakari is generally du-gun, ti-gun but played in a crystal clear manner with dazzling speed variations. Then he starts the drut gat, raises the tempo and starts the 'taiyari' taans. Those taans are his actual area of forte. One is amazed to hear that how can a man play so fast in a difficult instrument like sitar. He is primarily the master of sitar.

Pt Nikhil Banerjee entered the scene later so he had a clear idea of what has been done earlier. Also a disciple of Ud Allauddin Khan he was guided in a distinct path separated from the earlier two. His format is simple, he starts with alap and bilambit jor then starts a gat in bilambit teentaal or ektaal. His exposition is very soulful and the folk influence behind each raga is prominent in his playing. Then he moves into a drut gat and finishes with beautiful taans in dazzling speed.

After hearing these styles one can realise the playing styles of Pt Dipak Chaudhury, Vidushi Jaya Biswas, Pt Kartik Kumar....... or Ud Rais Khan, Ud Shahid Parvez, Pt Budhaditya Mukherjee.... or Pt Partho Chatterjee and set one's choices.
There are other styles with finer distinctions of maestros like Ud Mustaq ali khan, Ud Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan and Pt Gokul Nag.
So you can't say who is the best but there is a lot to hear and drown into sitar gharanas.
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