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ClassicsOnline Home » INDIA Irshad Khan: The Magic of Twilight
By James Lien
The stimulating, improvisational quality of Irshad Khan's music is the perfect antidote to a mid-summer musical slump. These evening and twilight ragas give a glow of peace and contemplation perfect for absorbing at the end of the day. Admittedly, it takes a sizable chunk of the average world music radio show to air one piece, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
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.
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INDIA Irshad Khan: The Magic of Twilight