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- Walking straight-backed onto the famous Wigmore Hall stage, Amjad Ali Khan receives a standing ovation before he plays a note. The renowned sarod player has been a regular visitor to London for nigh on three decades; he's said that Britain's capital holds a very special place in his heart. This concert, the first since his triumphant debut performance at Wigmore Hall in 2008, sees a rapt audience in saris and suits greet him with the respect afforded the truly gifted.
Amjad Ali Khan's two sons, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, join in the applause as they sit cross-legged on a small raised platform, Amaan in a yellow tunic, Ayaan in a purple tunic, their sarods resting in their laps. To their left, dressed all in white, acclaimed tabla player Satyajit Talwalkar bows low over his hand drums at the entrance of the maestro. Amjad Ali Khan - distinguished, silver-haired, wearing blue and gold - receives the adulation with a smile then settles into the space between his sons. Taking up his sarod, whose unfretted steel fingerboard is adorned with a single tassel, he begins the first of three Ragas (rhythmic cycles): Raga Shyam Shree, an evening Raga for solo sarod that he first created in the 1970s.
This sarod-playing triumvirate hail from a long line of hereditary musicians, a line that stretches back six generations to Amjad Ali Kahn's great-great-great grandfather Mohammed Hashmi Khan Bangash, who in the mid-1700s brought his Afghan rabab lute to the court of the Maharajah of Rewa in Madhya Pradesh - the Indian state where the Khan Bangash family continue to live and play.
Amjad Ali Khan made his debut performance at the age of eight. Years spent perfecting his craft - performing everywhere from New York's Carnegie Hall to, indeed, London's Wigmore Hall, and receiving India's esteemed civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, along the way - has resulted in a prowess that is currently unequalled. Now aged 65, Amjad Ali Khan is at the height of his inventive powers - which are captured beautifully here.
- Amjad Ali Khan
Amjad Ali Khan (sarod)
Ayaan Ali Khan (sarod)
Amaan Ali Khan (sarod)
Satyajit Talwalkar (tabla)
- 1 CD - 1h 43mn 46s
release date. 2011-10-03