Sale Date Ended
Sale Date Ended
Page Views : 19
The Occasion: Pandit Firoz Dastur Centenary
Pandit Firoz Dastur (1919-2008) is a revered name in the realm of the Hindustani classical music, who has been around for 75 long years or more as the true representative of the Kirana Gharana, perhaps the last Mohican in the said legacy. He was a disciple of Pandit Sawai Gandharv and was contemporary of the other two legendary vocalists of his league (and was arguably the most loyal to the style), namely Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, and Vidushi Gangubai Hangal. He was the prime organizer of the prestigious Sawai Gandharv Memorial Music Festival, Pune. However, he was never the media’s darling boy, nor of the Music Industry’s, if there is any in India at all. He acted in movies, produced wonderful appropriation of the doyen Abdul Karim Khan’s music, taught hundreds of vocalists in his lifetime, and took the festival that he organized to an insurmountable height, but there is hardly any vinyl that was ever cut in his name. He was one of those silent masters who worked in the background, and made this entire legacy to survive through the centuries. For Dastur-ji, the task was even more Herculean, for he had to work against the aggressive giant that goes as an apology of a Music Industry here. “Industry” usually means betterment of qualities; our industry does the opposite in favour of some fancy popularity metrics. Dastur-ji dedicated his life fighting exactly those metrics, and their tyrannical aftermath.
Formal CD Launch
We at Chaitya Patrika maintain a formidable archive of concert recording of the maestros of the yesteryears. We have chosen 10 outstanding performances from the archive, and compiled them in a 4-CD album of Pandit Firoz Dastur. The product is available for more than a year now, but the actual release programme was deferred till this occasion. It was difficult to arrange and manage the whole noise. The concert recordings were first digitally mastered at our premises, until almost Studio quality sound was produced. Then came the issue of copyrights. Dastur-ji left no heir, no blood relation, no trail anywhere – apart from his vast musical saga. We found Pandit Girish Sanzgiri, Dastur-ji’s prime disciple, and the founder of “Firoz Dastur Memorial Foundation”, Mumbai. It’s because of his generosity and unconditional love for his mentor, the publication of the said album has been possible.
Nada Sagara: The Concert
Naturally, Pandit Girish Sanzgiri was the only logical choice when we planned a concert for the Gala release programme. Most of Dastur-ji’s other disciples are either abroad, or are simply unapproachable, working silently somewhere in this huge crowd as mantle-bearers of Dastur-ji’s legacy. As you expected, Girish-ji too is a fantastic person and a great musician too. As an aside, most musicians of our ages tend to forget that “Good Musician” primarily requires to be a “Good human being first” as Baba Allauddin Khan would have said. Girish-ji is an obvious exception. Below, we attach two Youtube videos of the same Raga, Bairagi (Bhairav), their forte actually, sung by both artistes. Listen to them, and you decide for yourself then.