Raga CDs of the months (03/09): Rabindra Sangeet – A Voice for All!
Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 9, 2009
Rabindra Sangeet is in India a musical-literary concept, which has been established in the 20th century as an own genre. The Indian classical music is embedded in it, likewise the Northern Indian music – Hindustani – and the classical style of South India, the carnatic music. The concept was created by India’s universal genius Rabindranath Tagore.
Tagore’s complete work covers a time period of 60 years till his death in 1941 (7th May 1861 – 7th August 1941) with approximately 1000 poems, two dozen plays, dance dramas, eight novellas, several expenditures of short stories and various literary works with social, religious, political and educational-scientific essays and contributions to film works and as painter.
Tagore is the single composer of two national anthems, that of India („Jana Gana Mana“) and of Bangladesh („Amar Shonar Bangla“) and a dignitary Nobel prize for literature he received in 1913. Tagore was distinguished as first non European for his work „Gitanjali“ which was published in the year 1912 in New York and 1913 in London.
Gitanjali– transliteral means „an offer of songs“ (song offerings | Git = song + Anjoli = offering) – is a collection of 103 English poems. The majority of the poems were translated by Rabindranath Tagore himself. The early edition in Bengali language originates back to the year 1910.
Gitanjali, verse 100:
„Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs. It was they who led me from door to door, and with them have I felt about me, searching and touching my world.
It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt; they showed me secret paths, they brought before my sight many a star on the horizon of my heart.
They guided me all the day long to the mysteries of the country of pleasure and pain, and, at last, to what palace gate have they brought me in the evening at the end of my journey?”
The University Visva Bharati founded by R. Tagore accommodates today a multiplicity of institutes, among the Sangit Bhavana (institutes of Dance, Drama and Music). The first director was Tagore’s nephew Dinendranath Tagore. He lived from 1882 to 1935. Dinendranath was a talented and outstanding singer with Bariton voice, who can be characterized as an art director of Rabindranath’s plays and manager of the dramaturgical department of the Visva Bhar ati University. We owe Rabindranath’s compositions documented in written form to Dinendranath’s knowledge of Western music notation.
The music department (music board) of the Visva Bharati University was established three years after Tagore’s demise in the year 1944. Today it is concerned with Tagore festivals and with educational lessons for Rabindra Sangeet in Kolkatta.
Tagore’s heritance is celebrated in India with many Tagore festivals as the annual ceremony of Kapipranam, Tagore’s birthday on 7th May. Pilgrimages from Kolkatta to Shantiniketan and solemn song evenings to festive causes are deeply rooted in the Bengal culture. Abroad the birthday of Tagore is celebrated, e.g. with the annual Tagore-Festival in Urbana (US Federal State Illinois). This festival celebrated it’s 20th anniversary in the year 2008.
With the poem „Prosno“ in Bangla, the native language of Tagore is still existing one of the very few recordings of Tagore’s voice. Tagore’s voice arrange the sound aesthetics and metric of his lyrics applicably. This documentary is note dated exactelly.