The Genius of Series
The world of Hindustani Classical Music comprises of Geniuses, both vocalists and instrumentalists. Their music emanates a divine spark. Be it their first recording or a phase of experimentation or perhaps a time when they reached a crescendo in their careers, each of these is a slice of history. And we at Saregama are proud custodians of these immortal moments.
In this series, we have compiled some of the finest performances of the legends, thereby showcasing the Genius of these Geniuses!
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the internationally renowned exponent of the bansuri or bamboo flute, surprisingly does not come from a long lineage of flautists. His father was a famous wrestler who had aspirations of his son following in his footsteps.
The younger Chaurasia, had an early love of music, however, and by the age of 15 was taking his first steps toward a lifetime as a performer by studying classical vocal with Pandit Raja Ram of Benares.
Soon after, he heard a flute recital by Pandit Bholanath and was so impressed he changed his focus to studying the flute. When he was just 19, he got a job playing for All India Radio, Cuttack, Orissa, and within five years he was transferred to their headquarters in Bombay. There he got the additional exposure of performing in one of India’s cultural centers and also studied with Shrimati Annapurna Devi, daughter of Ustaad Allauddin Khan of the Maihar School of Music.
In 1984 he earned the National Award of the Sangeet Natak Academy. In 1992, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan and the Konarak Samman and in 1994, he was bestowed the Yash Bharati Sanman. He’s also been bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan. He has collaborated with several western musicians, including John McLaughlin and Jan Gabarek, and has also composed music for a number of Indian films. He has performed throughout the world winning acclaim from varied audiences and fellow musicians including Yehudi Menuhin and Jean Pierre Rampal.
Taking inspiration from the west, Pt Chaurasia was the first artist to develop the Staccato style and adapt the same to Indian Classical Music’s Jod and Jhala.
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s unique playing style, with his innovative fingering and blowing techniques has taken the bansuri to newer levels.
Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia’s dream of having a school based on the ancient Guru Shishya Parampara, came alive in the last decade of the last century. Shri Rajeev Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, ensured a plot of land be made available to Panditji to pursue his dream. Once the land was allotted, the search began for a patron to help put up the physical structure. Mr Ratan Tata stepped in and today, Vrindaban Gurukul, one of Mumbai’s landmark buildings stands testimony to the belief Panditji had in the power of his dreams!
This three CD-pack encompasses the best of Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, thus justifying the series ‘The Genius of.”
CD 1 opens with a morning melody in the rare Raga Ahir Lalit. This is a full-fledged rendition, complete with aalap, Jod, jhala and gat in taal roopak. This is followed by a dhun in raga Sindh Bhairavi. This CD concludes with a thematic recording ‘Kalpana One.’ Besides the flute and table, this composition is enhanced by the soulful strumming of the guitar.
CD 2 brings with it the energies of a Live Concert. Herein, Panditji presents a full fledged rendition in raga Jhinjhoti. To give a touch of Carnatic Music, the next selection is in raga Hansadhwani. The concluding track is a ‘Ragamalika’ which blends different shades and moods of multiple ragas..
CD 3 is again a treat to music lovers and is a compilation of live recordings at concerts. It opens with an evening melody in the evergreen raga Yaman. The concluding raga Bhairavi is a befitting closure to this enchanting album.
The varied shades of PT. Hariprasad Chaurasia as a solo artiste, a jugalbandi artiste, a music composer, a Guru or the one who explores music with international artistes, make him a complete artiste of our times. To capture his genius in a three CD pack is a humongous task. We at Saregama, have only endeavored to bring to the connoisseur the magic of Panditji’s music, reminiscent of Lord Krishna’s mystical call of the flute!
1. Raga – Ahir Lalit 
Alaap, Jod, Jhala
2. Raga – Aahir Lalit 
Gat Taal Roopak
3. Dhun Sindh Bhairavin 
4. Kalpana One 
1. Raga – Jhinjhoti 
2. Raga – Jhinjhoti 
Alap, Jod Dhrupad Ang
3. Raga – Hansadhwani 
4. Ragmalika 
1. Raga – Yaman 
Alap and Gat In Madhyalaya
2. Raga – Yaman 
Gat In Drut Teentaal
3. Raga – Bhairavin