The Very Best of Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar
21C Media Group

From 21C Media Group

Ravi Shankar, sitarist and composer
Two-CD set and downloads available September 14 from EMI Classics

Ravi Shankar celebrated his 90th birthday on April 7, 2010.  Hailed as a sensationally gifted sitarist and composer throughout the world, he has done more to bring Indian music to a Western audience than any other musician.  The Very Best of Ravi Shankar brings together some of the highlights of Shankar’s long and distinguished career, including excerpts from his iconicWest Meets East collaborations with Yehudi Menuhin, and the historic live recording of his 2000 Carnegie Hall concert with his daughter, Anoushka.

Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury in Varanasi into a wealthy and conservative Brahmin family of cultured Bengalis.  At the age of ten, he journeyed to Paris with a dance group and by the age of 13 had learned to play various Indian instruments, notably the sitar on which he became the virtuoso we know today.  During the 1950s and ’60s, his name became closely associated with George Harrison of the Beatles, as well as with Yehudi Menuhin, whom he had met during the violinist’s first visit to India in 1952.  He later made several notable recordings with Menuhin for EMI: a selection is contained on CD 1 of this set.  Shankar’s contact with the West brought about a growing interest in Indian music in both Europe and North America that, in turn, led to an increased interest and love of World music.  This has made Shankar one of the world’s most influential musicians.  Ravi Shankar now lives in Southern California with his wife, Sukanya.

Track list

CD 1

East Meets West

Shankar: Prabhati (based on Raga Gunkaliwith Yehudi Menuhin and Alla RakhaSwara-Kakali (based on Raga Tilangwith Yehudi Menuhin; Raga Piloo with Yehudi Menuhin, Alla Rakha, and Kamala Chakravarti;Dhun with Alla Rakha and Kamala Chakravarti;Twilight Mood with Yehudi Menuhin, Alla Rakha, Nodu Mullick, and Amiya Dasgupta

Full Circle

Shankar: Raga Kaushi Kanhara: Alap-Jor-Jhalawith Ajay Sharma, Barry Phillips, and Anoushka Shankar; Raga Kaushi Kanhara: Gat in Dhamar with Ajay Sharma, Barry Phillips, Bikram Ghosh, Tanmoy Bose, and Anoushka Shankar

CD 2

India’s Master Musician

Shankar: Kafi-Holi (Spring Festival of Colors);Mishra Piloo with Chatur Lal and Nodu C. Mullick

Portrait of a Genius

Shankar: Tala Rasa RangaTabla – DhwaniSong from the HillsTala – Tabla TarangGat Kirwaniwith Paul Horn, Alla Rakha, Harihar Rao, Sam Chianas, Phil Harland, and Dr. Penelope Estabrook

Sound of the Sitar

Shankar: Raga Malkauns (Alap)Raga Malkauns (Jor)Tala SawariPahadi Dhun (Instrumental)with Alla Rakha