Friday, July 3, 2009

Shahnsah-e-Ghazal : Live rendition by Mehdi Hassan

Mehdi Hassan has been an unrivalled Master in the field of Ghazal Gayaki for more than five decades now. Generations of singers have been inspired by the Maestro who can be singularly credited in bringing the Ghazal singing from the purview of elitist few to the masses for appreciation as well as establishing Ghazal singing as one among the other melodic genres as Thumri, Dadra, Kajri etc to be reckoned with. Mehdi Hassan has a number of recordings to his credit and some of the ghazals have achieved a cult status. The live recordings of the maestro have been a delight of connoisseurs where there is ample room for showcasing his eclectic genius.

Shahenshah-E-Ghazal is a 2-CD Set of the live rendition of Mehdi Hassan given at The Royal College of Music, London during October’1990.The impeccable recording quality coupled with Ustad Sultan Khan on Sarangi and Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan on Tabla as accompaniment makes this Album , a listening enjoyment. CD 1 starts with the Rajasthani folk number Kesariya balama padharo mharo desh sung in Raga Mand. Who else, but for the virtuoso having his roots in Rajasthan can faithfully reproduce the emotion of the number. As the rendition meanders through the intricate patterns, the maestro pauses to give a brief on the meaning and technicalities of his rendition of this appealing number.

The second number is the heart touching Mubham baat paheli kaise, bus wohi bujhe jisko bujhae. This melodious ghazal penned by Arzoo Lucknavi has been sung in Raga Yaman Kalyan. This number is an absolute bliss with the maestro rending each word in sync with the mood of the ghazal complemented by the brilliant sarangi recital. This is followed by a Thumri in Raga Desh.Umad ghumad ghir aayo re sajni badra captures the atmosphere of the beautiful over bearing dark clouds enrapturing the listeners. The succeeding number is a Dadra ,Teer nainon ka zaalim ne mera mujhe which again enthralls the listeners.The remaining two ghazals of CD 1 are Ahmed Faraz’s Shola tha jalbhooja hun hawaein mujhe na do in Raga Kirwani and Farhat Sehzad’s Ek bas tuhi nahin mujhse khafaa ho baitha in Raga Miyan ki Malhar.These two numbers spanning for around half an hour regales the listeners with the Maestro experimenting with murkis and taans.

The CD 2 starts with Abdul Hamid Alam’s Jab tere nain mushkurate hain sung in Raga Sahera. The Ghazal is a beauty bearing the unmistakable stamp of Mehdi Hassan. This is followed by Adib Saharanpuri’s Ghazal Ek khalish ko haasil .This slow number will certainly endear the discerning listeners. The magic continues through Farhat Sehzad’s Khuli jo aankh to na who tha, na who zamana tha. Added bonus is the Ahmed Faraz’s Abke hum bicchde to shayaad khwabon mein mile which has been one among the signature Ghazals of the Maestro. The Album ends with a Heer in Raga Bhairavi. The range of musical genres this Album represents is only a testimony to the genius that personifies Mehdi Hassan.
The Album released eaerlier by Navras Records, U.K. in 1992 has been released by Sony Music in India.This Album is a Collector’s item.

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