Monday, 29 October 2018

Vilayat Khan - Sitar Samrat - Raga Gawoti - Cassette released in India in 1986

Here another very beautiful cassette by Ustad Vilayat Khan. The second side was republished on a compilation CD: Aftaab-e-Sitar (1988). The complete recording was on CD 4 of a box of five CDs: The Best of Ustad Vilayat Khan Ever (2012).

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Vilayat Khan - Sandhi Prakash - Raga Purvi - Cassette released in India in 1991

Here a very beautiful, but little known recording by the exquisite Ustad Vilayat Khan. As far as I know the recording was only once rereleased on CD: on CD 2 of a compilation box of three CDs called "The Great Heritage".

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Mohammad Sharif Khan Poonchwalay - Sitar - Vol. 3 - Cassette released in Pakistan in 1988

Mohammad Sharif Khan Poonchwalay was one of the greatest Sitar players of his generation. We posted in the past already six recordings by the artist. Unfortunately I have only the vol. 3 of this series of three cassettes.

Side 1:
1. Raga Bhairavi
2. Mishra Khamaj

Side 2:
Raga Basant Bahar

From the logic of the music probably the two sides should be reversed.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Nikhil Banerjee - Le Sitar du Pandit Nikhil Banerjee - Raga Jogiya-Kalingada - LP released in France in 1983

With the last three posts by Ustad Sarahang we arrived back to Raga Music, though from Afghanistan. Now we will post for a longer period classical Indian music. First we start with some LPs and cassettes of instrumental music.
Here the first one: a quite rare LP released later also as a CD in France. Both were not widely distributed. See here an LP released in 1985 in the same series which we posted in May 2018.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Ustad Sarahang - Live in Kabul 1978

Here a very beautiful concert recording by Ustad Sarahang containing:

Raga Malkauns (incomplete) (25:54)
Raga Todi (46:30)

We received these recordings from our friend Werner Durand. Many thanks to him.
It seems that these recordings are from two different concerts: the first Raga is a midnight Raga, whereas the second one is a late morning Raga. Also the second track has Sarangi accompaniment, which the first doesn't have. The first Raga is incomplete and ends abruptly. To make it more smooth we created a short fade out.
In the 1990s and early 2000s there were many CDs by him available in the Afghani shops. They were released inside the Afghan community, mainly in the US. Amongst these CDs were also some with a classical Raga program in Khayal format. Maybe in the future we will post some of these, as they are no longer available for many years.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Ustad Mohammad Hussain Khan - Sar-Auhang (Sarahang) - LP released in India in 1970

Here a wonderful LP by the great singer, recorded in India. At a recent visit to our friend KF we scanned the covers of the LP he has in his collection. The rips he made already years ago. Many thanks to him again for sharing a rare jewel.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Ustad Muhammad Hussain Sarahang (1924-1983) - Legendary Classical Singer from Afghanistan - LP released in Soviet Uzbekistan in 1984

Here a beautiful LP by the great Ustad Sarahang. Ustad Muhammad Hussain Sarahang was a legendary, very charismatic classical singer of the Patiala Gharana from Kabul, Afghanistan. He sang Khyal, but also Thumries and Ghazals, often in a typical Afghan way. He was a student of a very outstanding singer, Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan (d. 1948), son of Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, one of the two founders of the Patiala Gharana in the 19th century.
Ustad Muhammad Hussain Sarahang was very popular and highly admired in Afghanistan and is still today. He used to tour in India reguarly, giving many concerts. He recorded one LP in India which we will post next.
On YouTube there is an enormous amount of his recordings. The best and most classical ones can be found on the channel of Dr. Qayum Belal, including many concert recordings from India: 

On the artist see:
On Ashiq Ali Khan, the master of our artist, see:

Here the details of the LP from

Singer Ustad Mohammad Hossein SARAHANG 
(Democratic Republic of Afghanistan) 
(series "Music of Asia and Africa", issue 21)

Side 1:
Composition based on Raga Yaman

Side 2:
Composition based on Raga Bhairav I
Composition based on Raga Bhairav II

Recorded from the concert at the International Musicological Symposium
 on the Registan, Samarkand, 1979

We post here the rip done by our friend KF many years ago, including the covers and the booklet he made. The cover scans of the LP are done by our friend Werner Durand. If I remember correctly the rip was done also from the LP in Werner's collection. Many thanks to both of them.

Here the covers and the booklet by KF:

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Annapurna Devi (1927-2018) passed away yesterday - May she rest in Peace

Yesterday one of India's greatest musicians passed away. Annapurna Devi was the daughter of Baba Ustad Allauddin Khan, sister of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and first wife of Pandit Ravi Shankar.
She was an outstanding Surbahar player and a great teacher. Amongst her many students the most famous is perhaps Hariprasad Chaurasia. I remember still very well that I bought all the LPs by him as they came out from the first one in 1968 till the ones in the 1980s. On the first LP he had not yet started to learn from Smt. Annapurna Devi, I think. Afterwards one could witness his progress in technique and in depth with each new LP.
Smt. Annapurna Devi lived, after her separation from Ravi Shankar in 1961, a very reclusive life and never performed in public. That is why there are hardly any recordings be her. The only ones - as far as I know - are the ones we posted in 2014
Maybe now some other recordings will show up.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Ustad Mohammad Omar - Rubab Master from Afghanistan - Recordings from the archives of WDR

Here we present a number of beautiful recordings of the great Master of the Afghan Rubab, Ustad Mohammad Omar. I received these recordings from my friend KF. Originally these recordings are from the archives of WDR in Cologne, Germany. They seem to be from two different recording sessions: the first three tracks from one session and the rest from a second session.
Here again KF wrote notes about the recordings:

Many thanks to KF.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Ustad Mohammad Omar (1905–1980) - Rubab - Cassette from Afghanistan

Here we present an Afghani cassette by the great Rubab master Ustad Mohammad Omar, which we recently received from our very generous friend KF as a gift. This cassette served as the basis for the CD "Ustad Mohammad Omar ‎- Robab - The Soul of Sound", released in Germany in the 1990s and rereleased in 2009. But it is not completely identical: the order of the pieces is different and it seems that for the CD some parts were cut out, probably because of imperfections in the recordings. 
The cassette is not well edited, e.g. the first and the last track seem to be two different sections of the same recording, partly overlapping, and often there are some harsh noises between the tracks. These we cut out. At the end of side 1 there are two very short, partly distorted pieces which seem to be fragments of other tracks. These we also cut out. The cassette is still about five minutes longer than the CD.

Ustad Mohammad Omar was presented on many LPs of Afghani music released in the West in the 1960s and 1970s, as he was considered one of the most prominent Afghani musicians and the Rubab was considered a national emblem of the country.
There are only two CDs on the market: the one mentioned above and the one released by Folkways. The second one is not that typical. Better are his recordings done in Afghanistan. Next we will post some beautiful recordings from the archives of WDR.

Here he is accompanied by two excellent percussionists: Ghul Alam on Dhol and the legendary Malang (Najrabi) on Zerbaghali. By both one can find music on YouTube. In some tracks there is also an excellent Tambur (long-necked lute) player. His name is unfortunately not mentioned. Perhaps it is Abdul Majid who was present on several LPs published in the West.

On the artist see:
You can also download the booklet to his Folkways CD:

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Essa Kassemi - Singing and Rubab Playing from Afghanistan - A WDR radio program broadcast on 31st of August 1983

Here we post a radio program on music from Afghanistan broadcast by WDR (Western German Radio) in Cologne on 31st of August 1983s. I received this recently from my friend KF. He made notes on the pieces performed. See below two pages from his notebook.
Essa Kassemi (Isa Khasemi) was and is quite well known through his French LP which was widely present in the record shops back then and which we posted a couple of days ago. He lives in Cologne since several decades. On the back cover of his LP this information is given: 
"Ustad Essa Kassimi, classical singer and master of the short-necked lute or Robab, born in Kabul in 1932, comes from a famous family of traditional musicians. On the maternal side, his grandfather Ustad Mohammad Kassem (Ustad Qasim (1882-1955)), formerly among the most important musicians of the Royal Court, is considered today as the founder of the classical Afghan musical art. It is he who teaches Essa Kassimi the techniques of singing, Tabla, Robab. From his father, Aga Mohammad, famous classical singer, Essa Kassimi learns the mastery of the instruments Dilruba, Sarangi, Harmonium and Robab." 
Otherwise not much is known about him. I remember that I saw in the 1970s a small poster announcing a concert by him in Düsseldorf. Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the concert, which I still regret.

The Program consists of three pieces:

1. Raga Kausiya - Rubab
2. Ghazal in Raga Bhairavi
3. Raga Iman (Yaman) Kalyan - Rubab

Many thanks to KF for sharing so generously.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Essa Kassimi - Le Luth Afghan - LP released in France in 1979

Now we start a small series of Rubab recordings. First a French LP which was widely present in the record shops back then. The artist lives in Cologne, Germany.