Shankar: Sitar Concertos; I Am Missing You

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Shankar
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Sitar Concertos; I Am Missing You
PERFORMER: Various artists
CATALOGUE NO: CDS 5 55577 2 ADD/DDD (1962-96)
Five bite-sized ragas apart, Shankar’s collaborative work is the focus here. Zakir Hussain, Zubin Mehta, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Ringo Starr, the Kremlin… it’s the pioneering, creative side of a restless spirit that makes Shankar’s classical playing too flashy for some, and the prelude to today’s more sophisticated East-West encounters. He worked closely with Yehudi Menuhin, though Menuhin did the accommodating. His Sitar Concertos don’t find real dialogue, but they are brightly imagined for orchestra. Colour dominates mixed Indian ensembles, surprisingly strict in form. More spontaneous is a track where Japanese musicians lead. A ‘vocal/experimental’ disc includes Bollywood and the seriously weird: ‘I Am Missing You’ sounds like Peter Sellers parodying the Beatles. Robert Maycock

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