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World Music CD Reviews South Asia


By Robert Kaye
Published September 23, 2005


Two enduring traditions. Two extraordinary maestros. “Together” is a celebration of the principal streams of Classical Indian music—Hindustani, practiced mostly in Northern India, and Carnatic, found more often in South India—as performed by two of the world’s greatest bansuri (bamboo flute) players. With Hariprasad Chaurasia representing the Hindustani tradition on a lower-pitched bansuri, and Dr. N. Ramani, the Carnatic on a higher-register flute, these virtuosi participate in an outstanding duet, known as a juglabandi. For the neophyte and even aficionado, Indian music is full of awe-inspiring complexities, expressional nuances, complex meters and numerous ragas. Those elements, and more, are readily evinced throughout these inspired performances.  Whereas this double album’s liner notes are well written and almost poetic, by not explaining in common Western musical terminology some of the details of the performance, they lose some of their informative potential. Alas! Even so, for those who are willing to listen attentively, there is much to be learned and experienced, for it is an extraordinary treat to find such esteemed musicians melding their hearts, minds and individual styles together.