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S & H World Music Review

RAAGS OF THE RAIN (2) Buddhadev DasGupta and Rajan & Sajan Misra, Purcell Room, London 31 July 2002 (PGW)


The eminent veteran sarod player and teacher Buddhadev DasGupta gave an enthralling hour to open the second concert of raags for the monsoon season, with no sign of flagging in rhythmic verve and melodic inventiveness, and there was a marvellous rapport with his tabla colleague Partho Sarathi Mukerjee. DasGupta self-deprecatingly thanked us for our appreciation of his 'humble offering with the ravages of age'.

The evening ended with the spectacular double act by the popular brothers Rajan & Sajan Misra, , who sing khayal, vying with each other in virtuosic runs and flourishes. Noticeably aged a little since last encountered teaching at the 1999 Summer School which I attended, they roused the audience to vociferous appreciation - their skill and endurance could shame most Western singers trained in bel canto coloratura.

There was a programme note supplied this time, including interesting explanations of how gentle showers inspire elegant glissandi in monsoon ragas, rumbling clouds the scale-runs and vocal shakes.

Recommendable live recital CDs by Buddhadev DasGupta and the Misra brothers are available at mid-price from the AMC's CD shop; their attractive and informative website is a valuable source of information about Asian music in London & UK, with news of tours, lectures, exhibitions and workshops, and there are well advanced plans for an Asian Music Centre in Acton next year, with multi-media displays.

Everyone should take an opportunity to experience the special atmosphere that appreciative audiences bring to live concerts of Indian music. For details of the AMC's Autumn 2002 concerts email info@amc.org.uk

Peter Grahame Woolf



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