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DE – Raga CDs of the Months (09/14): RABINDRA SANGEET (part 1 and 2)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on September 14, 2014


R. Tagore in Kolkata, c. 1915

part 1… Rabindra Sangeet – A Voice for All

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.

date of broadcasting…

15th September 2014 – 4:00-4:58 pm EST (10:00-10:58 pm CET) @ TIDE Radio (DE)
(premiere: 16th March 2009 – 10:00 p.m. CET @ Radio TIDE)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

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?

(PDF-Download | Source)

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.

Gandhi-TagoreTagore’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.

part 2: 150th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore – Pankaj Mullick, Rabindra Sangeet and the Indian Film

The South Indian subcontinent celebrates annually the birthday of Rabindranath Tagore: “Kabi Pranam – A tribute to Tagore “. On 7th May we can remember on one of the last universal genius of the 20th century. R. Tagore (1861-1941) was poet, writer, musician, painter, author of dance dramas, publisher and social reformer …

Uruguay Stamps - 150th Tagore Anniversary

Uruguay Stamps – 150th Tagore Anniversary

In 2011 Bangladesh and India, particularly West Bengal celebrate heavily the 150th anniversary of Tagore. Over a whole year with innumerable events at public places, in theatres, schools, in book shops among the literary friends millions remind of Tagore’s (art) works.

From given cause of the 150th anniversary the government in SriLanka and Uruguay appreciated the first Indian Nobel Laureate for Literature with a special stamp edition. Tagore had visited Sri Lanka in the years 1922, 1928 and 1934.

from left to right: Tagore as painter, Argentina Edition, Tagore’s PlayPost Office
(Source: All the stamps on this website with courtesy to Kumar Kamaleshan Nair (Trivandrum) – )

The ceremonies which take place since 7th May show once more that the spirit of Tagore is alive through over all generations and within all social classes. The “Daily  Star”, presently the biggest English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh titles Tagore as “An internationalist through and through” appropriate to his global meaning.

dates of broadcasting …

15th September 2014 – 5:00-5:58 pm EST (11:00 – 11:58 pm CET) @ TIDE Radio (DE)
(premiere: 16th May 2011 – 11:00 pm CET (05:00 EST) @ TIDE Radio)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

IMC – India meets Classic presented with it’s show “Rabindra Sangeet – A Voice for All!” the outstanding Rabindranath Tagore already. Rabindra Sangeet is a category which was established in the 20th century by Tagore himself.
It is a musical-literary concept where Tagore embedded equally poems and songs into Indian classical music, same North Indian (Hindustani) as South Indian classics (Carnatic).

Pankaj Kumar Mullick was as singers, actor (debut in the film Mukti, 1937), composer (as music director, conductor / arranger), radio maker and as a film producer. Mullick is India’s most prominent interpreter of Rabindra Sangeet.
Pankaj Mullick’s interest in Rabindra Sangeet came off by the contact with the Tagore family, first by meeting with Dinendranath Tagore, a grandnephew of Tagore, and himself composer and music arranger as later Mullick became on his own.
When Rabindranath Tagore heard Pankaj Mullick’s singing for the first time he embraced Mullick spontaneously as it is reported. And Tagore permitted Mullick to set all his writingsinto music which should not be mastered by Tagore himselve during life times. This granted Tagore uniquely only to Mullick instead Tagore self-confidently understood himself as the most important poet of India. Mullick was also first who added the Tabla as accompanying instrument. The Tabla is a percussion instrument (drum pair) of North Indian classics (Hindustani).

Rabindranth Tagore was 44 years old, when Pankaj Mullick was born on 10 May 1905 in Calcutta. Mullick should accede the world to make Indian history as famous singer, actor, independent music director and film producer. Pankaj Mullick lived until 1978 in Calcutta. Differently than many of his colleagues he did not move to Mumbai, India’s film capital. He followed only some few orders for Mumbai productions like Zalzala in the year 1952, a filming of Tagore’s novella Char Adhaya and Kastoori (with film director: Gyan Mukherjee).
Pankaj Mullick was a pioneer of Indian film. He introduced the Playback singing together with the film director Nitin Bose (Dhhop Chhaon, 1935), as we know it these days in the Bollywood blockbusters.

As it was very usual for Mullick’s time and as all film activists (actors, composers) and playback singers experienced, also Pankaj Mullick was trained comprehensively in Indian Classical music, e.g. in Dhrupad style, the oldest vocal form of North Indian classis or the Khayal, a more modern form. Mullick inherited his musical interest from his father, who demonstrated a large interest in the traditional forms of Bengali music.

Till in the high ages Mullick was active as a music director. His last film was Janhabi Jamunia Bigolito Karuna in the year 1972. One year later Pankaj Mullick was distinguished at the age of 68 by the Indian government for his lifework and his earnings for Indian cinema. Mullick received the most important Indian film prize, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

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