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Hindustani Classical Vocal
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A Scintillating Khyal Album by LAKSHMI SHANKER Lakshmi Shankar is one of the most celebrated singers performing today in the North Indian (Hindustani) style of music. While her concerts have brought her worldwide success as a classical artiste, she has simultaneously developed a great reputation as a singer of devotional lyrics. She is best known for her performances - over several decades! - of the work of poets such as Surdas and, especially, Mira Bai: for many listeners her name is... Read More


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Top-flight performances from venerable vocal master


These disc offer differing perspectives from singers operating ostensibly within the same tradition — albeit one now divided by geopolitics. Her performers have migrated, one across a musical boundary, the other across a national one. Lakshmi Shankar is from a South Indian family, but after an early start as a bharata-natyam dancer she studied singing under Rehman Khan and subsequently became one of North India’s most respected performers, a superstar of the Hindustani music scene.

Once you get over Lakshmi Shankar’s slightly filmi opening (to be fair, this is partly due to the pentatonic nature of Raga Bhupali’) you are into a beautifully paced and constructed pair of khayal. Listen out for the sargam passages, where she sings the names of the notes: sa, ri, ga, pa, dha. There is a definite South Indian (Karnatic) flavour here and the sarangi passages from Ramesh Mishra could almost be the shadowing tones of the South Indian violin.

In contrast, the performances by Lakshmi Shankar, it is the superb pacing and sense of absolute control over the musical material that is so impressive.

Lakshmi Shankar whose wealth of experience gives their performances a depth lacking in some younger singers, yet despite their advanced years they’re still at the peak of their powers. - Maria Lord –Songslines July-August 2003

Lakshmi Shankar sings songs from the devotional tradition, creatively accompanied by Partha Sarathi Mukherjee (tabla) and Ramesh Mishra (sarangi). Devotional songs in Hindi have been part of north Indian culture for half a millennium, and the lyrics are mostly addressed to God, or describe and praise him, whether in the form of Krishna or Rama.

Lakshmi Shankar is one of the most celebrated singers in the North Indian (Hindustani) style of music has a great reputation as a singer of devotional lyrics, best known for her performances of the work of poets such as Surdas and Mira Bai. Her mesmerising voice brings out every nuance of the pain of love expressed by the Rajasthani princess who lived five hundred years ago. Lakshmi Shankar holds her listeners spell-bound... her whole presentation, suffused as it were with tender lyricism, leaves nothing to be desired. It is perfect in itself’ - Times of India. New Classics / Online World Music

Kiassisk. Nordindien. Lakshmi Shankars karriere startede for over 60år siden, da hun begyndte at danse hos deo legendariske Uday Shankar — Ravis ældre bror. Af helbredsmæssige årsager måtte hun senere opgive dansen, men begyndte så at synge i stedet. CDen her er optaget i London under en turné i anledning af hendes 70 års fødseisdag.

Med en forbavsende vital stemme synger hon først Raga Bhopali i khyal, og derefter en thumri — kortere og i en lidt lettere stil — i Raga Mishra Pahadi. Hon ledsages af Partha Sarathi Mukherjee på tabla og Pandit Ramesh Mishma på sarangi. Desoden høres en swarmandal — et zither instrument, der spilles af vokalsolisten selv. I teksthæftet kan man læse mere om hendes karriere og om detaijer i musikken. En velkomponeret og meget tiltalende CD – Rating * * * * * Niels Rønnest / DJEMBE September 2003

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