The second part of Teen Prahar by Times Music features instrumental greats like Pundit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Bismillah Khan and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.
The first in the series is the seasonally-apposite Raga Basant Mukhari. An adaptation from a Carnatic raga Basant Mukhari is best heard and rendered towards the end of spring. Listeners are not likely to forget the highly melodious Lata-rendered ek tu na mila, saari duniya mile bhi to kya hai from the film Himalaya ki God Main.
The opening strains of Pundit Shiv Kumar Sharma’s santoor is a mellifluous reminder of April showers of Himachal and Kashmir. The raga which appears to defy the norms laid down by thaat proponents is rendered differently by different maestros. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, for instance, favors the renunciatory Bhairav aspects of the raga while Pundit Sharma prefers to highlight its more sensuous Bhairavi facets.
The lilting Madhuwanti, the raga of romance and love essaying from Ustad Bismillah Khan’s shehnai acquires a divine luster not expected from a lesser musician. This pre-sunset melody happens to be a close cousin of Raga Multani, the verbose Todi heavyweight. Under the maestro’s expert treatment even the rough edges of the raga including the anomalous sharp fourth as the king swara, get smoothened out. The Ustad has long gone but his music never dies.
The last in the series is an alaap and jor in Raga Darbari. The raga, which is played deep into the night, is rather difficult to interpret and falls only within the purview of a true genius. Created by Mian Tansen Darbari is the raga of kings, also the king of ragas. Its slow ponderous pace and superb gravitas has been captured most captivatingly by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He makes the bronze strings of his sarod, well… dance to his tune.
All in all part 2 of the Teen Prahar series is as riveting as part 1.
A must buy and highly recommended.