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Raga Saga
16 customer reviews | Write a review

It's Inspiring! - Review by Gilbert Medam

Raga Saga is a widely hailed, ground-breaking work which captures V.S. Narasimhan\\\'s original integration of the Indian and Western classical music systems. A pioneer in this entirely new musical form of using the western string quartet format for Indian music, Mr. Narasimhan uses a delicate, intricate, thoughtful approach in his artistic touch replete with an enduring blend of Western harmonies, counterpoint, and pulsating rhythmic structures.

Mr. Narasimhan is well known throughout India as a ...  show more

Tracks in this album
Click on play button to listen to an extra-long preview of the track.
Preview tracks are sampled at a lower bitrate. The purchased mp3 (Download Album) will be of superior quality.
     Name   Description 
play/stop  Evaribodhana   Whose preaching are you listening 
play/stop  Vaathaapi   Worshiping Lord Ganesha 
play/stop  Shree Mahaa Ganapathi   May Lord Ganesha protect me 
play/stop  Paraathpara   Lord Shiva, I bow to you 
play/stop  Gnaana mosagaraadha   Can you grant me this knowledge? 
play/stop  Orajoopu   Savior of your eminence 
play/stop  Shree Subramanyaaya Namasthe   Salutations to Lord Subramanyaaya 
play/stop  Sudhaamayi   Oh, Thou, Source of Nectar 
play/stop  Thillaana   Rhythmic piece 
play/stop  Chinnanjirukiliey   Sweet little child 
Customer Reviews
by Priya Shah Thursday 01 January, 2009
Unbelievable!! What an extraordinary achievement and remarkable sound. It has rendered me quite speechless! I find the music to be truly inspirational and I just cannot stop listening too it!
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by David Richards Wednesday 06 July, 2011
Another terrific album. I love the musicality as well as the technical wizardry in this work, just amazing!!
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by Abhishek Rammanuja Thursday 16 June, 2011
WOW..simply mind blowing music. Great Work Sir!! Hats off to you and your team!
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by Krishnakumar Kottekkat Sunday 25 April, 2010
Amazing piece of work!!! i have been following Mr Narasimhan's work from the last album (MSQ) and so far both the albums have been one of the best western treatment of carnatic music . I have heard a lot of fusions , remixes and several other experiments with carnatic music . So far this has been the BEST as the artists have taken utmost care not to compromise the feel of the raga and the krithi's and the emotions they generate . The use of "Silence" in several compositions has given i... more
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by Gururaman Venkatesan Saturday 19 September, 2009
Scintilating performance. It is unfortunate that we have no idea where to get this in India. Wrote to Strong temple through the wed. But no response. Please let me know if you can get this somwhere in india
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by Ramani Kesavan Thursday 27 August, 2009
Read a good review of this album in tamil. http://solvanam.com/?p=1891
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by RAVI CHAKRAVARTHY Monday 17 August, 2009
One of the best album I've heard after Aberi & Pancha Nadai Pallavi of L. Shankar. VSN should do more like these.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by Padmanabhan Iyer Thursday 06 August, 2009
The best and masterpiece. Specially, Orajoopu, Sudhaamayi and Shree Mahaa Ganapathi. I listen to this most of the time while going for a walk and it helps to me relax a lot.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by Saravanan Balasubramanian Monday 18 May, 2009
Wow. The richness in this music fills the ears and heart. Truly a new dimention to Indian Carnatic Music. Best Wishes. Saravanan.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
by Richard Chen Tuesday 10 February, 2009
Brilliant!! I saw the live performances on Youtube and have been hooked since. What a beautifully unique sound that is created in this work. Truly one of the best albums I have heard in a long time.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars!
Letter from a fellow musician to V.S. Narasimhan after receiving the CD RagaSaga

Dear Narasimhan,

As I am listening to the 1st song: tears in my eyes, gorgeous packaging, superb photo, booklet, very classy, world class presentation, quite modern harmonies.

Each tune is different in character, very rich musically, captures attention and brings many deep feelings, great subtlety; never heard this kind of sound before. Very happy that you could make it; a remarkable contribution to the world of music; this is "classic" music not "world" music, perhaps "classical world" music.

The sound is sometimes like ancient western classical music, medieval or renaissance music, both by the arrangements/harmonies and the sustained sound of the electric instruments. I observed some unusual chord progression, very interesting and surprising for my ears, but not at all lacking unity

Definitely this CD has to open the doors to western classical musicians, because it is quite unique and some quartets might wish to learn how to play such a music. If String Temple Records would publish some of your scores (not easy for gamakas notation, but possible -perhaps score and audio examples?) there would be much interest in the western world. Yet, at first, they will have to listen carefully to your CD to educate their ear.

The bridge between carnatic music and European music, that you build, is more solid, refined and integrated. I have no doubt that your work stands in a class of its own at an international level.

The song "Gnaana Mosagaraadhaa" sounds full of mystery and strangeness (for a western ear). Reminds me of some works of Jehan Alain. I love it.

The intro of Paraathparaa sounds just exquisite, to me (the ending too) (is it on rag Charukhesi?) (after reading the booklet, it says rag Vaachaspathi; never heard this name before , the interval structure seems similar to Charukhesi)

I feel that this is really great music, not just musical playfulness with some fantasy to pretend to be original, like it happens so often, nowadays, because composers/ musicians don't let their music mature enough, but rush their production, possibly for commercial reasons etc...

I have been listening to a lot of music of many genres/ cultures in my life. This is definitely a CD that

  1. I would recommend very much to anyone that LISTENS to good music
  2. I would carry with me even on a desert island, (and I am not far from that since this island where I live is musically a kind of desert, for me at least...) your CD is definitely in the top 10 of my playlist!!

I am listening and enjoying a lot, the smart use of pizzicato, tremolo and the timbre of the cello which sounds sometime like a bassoon, or a trombone. Another thing is that you are blessed to have such a good friend, Shekar, the cellist with his vast musical understanding and sensitivity, so both of you can exchange and share the sound which is in your head and your heart.

To condense my feelings about your "baby", I JUST LOVE IT. Your music touched me deeply and your use of bold harmonies is amazing. There is abundance of love in your music. And the world needs desperately this in our times.

Thanks again for sending me your beautiful CD and hope to hear from you soon.

Warm regards,

Gilbert

Two days later, Narasimhan received an addendum to the above letter:

I have been listening again to your CD and there is something that I forgot to write before; it's inspiring!

At least it inspires me to come much closer to Indian music. Not for the exotic side of it (please remember that my ear, even after 4 years in India, is still mainly formed to western musical grammar and vocabulary) but for the sense of sacredness I feel in it. It reflects a deep quality of relationship with everything, while western music has been more influenced by technology and experimentation As a result there is much more tension and sometimes much "show" in it and that leaves me often tired, and a bit empty. I was watching a movie found sometimes ago on internet called "Drupad" with wonderful music from the Dagar tradition. The voices, the packhawaj, the timeless quality and the profound devotion to the music touched me very much.

You are making a quiet "almost silent" revolution in the music world and it is just the beginning. Of course there are other musicians who had their education half in the West, half in India, but how many reached that level of integration of the 2 worlds without losing the classical quality?

To be honest I never was impressed by Ravi Shankar concertos, or Sir Yehudi Menuhin trying his luck on a raga (with all the respect I have for his musical mastery, in the Western music)... Even groups like Shakti etc... for me was more a showcase of virtuosity, speed and complexity to impress young audiences, than something to immerse in and listen with all attention.

In RagaSaga, no pyrotechnics! Just music with a great sound and lots of subtle emotion. Something for the people blessed with good, sensitive and discriminating ears.

Gilbert

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