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INDIA Irshad Khan: The Magic of Twilight
The Classical Shop
release date: August 2008
Originally recorded in 2008
Total Time - 66:14
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Twilight Raga: Purya Dhanashri
Evening Raga: Bhopali
Irshad Khan sitar
Sujit Sen tanbur
Vineet Vyas tabla
As a member of one of the foremost musical families in India, Irshad Khan has won worldwide acclaim as a virtuoso player of both the sitar and surbahar (bass sitar). Khan is renowned not only for his mastery of these two instruments, but for his unique presentation of the different genres of Indian classical.
On the inaugural Naxos World release, The Magic Of Twilight, Khan presents a glorious performance of North Indian Hindustani ragas in its most beatific essence. Recording this spiritual and enchanting music at its most apropos time of the day, when dusk signals a time for introspection and reflection, Khan demonstrates his startling musicality and phenomenal improvisational technique in the two exquisite musical pieces.
A former child prodigy, Khan gave his first public performance at the age of seven. His international debut was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, England, when he was thirteen. Since then, he has performed throughout India, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, the Far East, and North America. Khan divides his time in Bombay and Toronto; teaching and composing, giving lectures/demonstrations, and conducting intensive workshops and master-classes.
His dedication to the subtleties of the rag art form, with his great expressive range, and his mastery of the intricate "gayakiang" (vocal) and "tantra-ang" (instrumental styles) makes Irshad Khan one of the most dynamic sitar and surbahar players of his generation.
Son and disciple of Ustad Imrat Khan, and nephew of Ustad Vilayet Khan, Irshad’s family represents the most respected gharana (musical heritage), known as the Imdadkhani gharana, of sitar and surbahar players in the world. Dating back over 400 years, Khan’s family has produced some of India’s best musicians and instrumentalists, and are accredited for introducing the ’gayakiang’ vocal style on the sitar. The Khan family has been paramount in the evolution of the sitar into its present form, as well as in the creation of the surbahar, which was invented by Irshad’s great-great grandfather.
Performing with Irshad Khan are tabla player, Vineet Vyas, and Sujit Sen on tanpoora. The Magic Of Twilight released on the very affordable budget label, Naxos World, and is produced by internationally renowned guitarist Norbert Kraft.
"The Naxos label has been a boon to various corners of the music universe, from their stellar budget line of classical recordings to the more recently launched jazz division. They’re also throwing their hand into the world market, with integrity intact. One title from a recent batch of releases comes from sitarist Irshad Khan, "The Magic Of Twilight." With all due and proper respect to Ravi Shankar, his high international profile has tended to overshadow other fine sitarists. Khan is one of them. Part of a longstanding and highly respected musical lineage, and the son of Ustad Imrat Khan, Irshad lives in both Bombay and Toronto, where he teaches. On this recording, done in a small town outside Toronto, he displays his measured skills and musical grace on the 43-minute "Twilight Raga," and the 22-minute "Evening Raga," which showcases his impressive abilities and, more importantly transports the listener to an alternately still and exhilarating place."
JazzTimes - October 2000
"If there is a superstar in the world of Indian classical music, Irshad Khan is it. Khan appeared Saturday evening at Vogel Hall in a concert presented by Classic Sounds. He played both the sitar and the surbahar, a bass version of the sitar. Khan, known as one of the finest sitar and surbahar players of his generation, is the latest in a 400-year family tradition of traditional classical music. The surbahar, an enormous, resonant instrument that takes great hand strength to play, was invented by his great-great-grandfather, Ustad Sahabdad Khan. He performed a selection of raags, traditional Indian melodies, that ranged from somber to playful, and from lighthearted and jazzy to dignified and spiritual. Some were accompanied by a string drone and tablas played by Nancy Lesh and Shyam Kane. Khan is an absolute master. His hands fly over the three-foot long neck of the sitar and the longer neck of the surbahar, bending pitches with perfect accuracy, and creating intricate ornaments and grace notes."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - September 1999
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