March 3, 2019

Hidayat Khan and Sanju Sahai: live performance in Nuremberg, Germany on December 9, 2010

It's been a while since I last posted. I'm sure everyone reading this will have busy lives of their own so I won't belabor the point and detail a long list of less interesting topics which occupied my time over the past few months. Regardless, it's good to take a break once in a while and as usual after taking a break, I'm eager to get back in the game.

This post is an unofficial live recording by an anonymous (even to me) enthusiast who apparently lives near Nuremberg, Germany. I'll post a slightly edited version of the information they provided with the music and then add some information of my own. I did take the opportunity to remaster the sound slightly, so that some irritating audience noises have been removed, and a very small amount of audio compression has been applied while the tabla is playing. This can sometimes be necessary because the very sharp spikes of sound which the tabla produces can overwhelm the more linear notes from the sitar. Compression, when used inappropriately or indiscriminately, can push the life and "air' out of a recording, so I only use it very sparingly when I do.

The original information is as follows:

After a long, long while the local German-Indian friendship club Sangam has finally started to bring new concerts of Indian master musicians to town.

For the last 25 years it has invited some of the most famous masters but now they have changed their scheme and will bring only young players, accomplished masters all of them, but of the younger generation.

The first such concert took place last week [back in 2010] and it presented two excellent musicians: Hidayat Khan and Sanju Sahai.

Both actually are renowned players of both the sitar and the tabla but for this concert Mr. Hidayat Khan, son of Ustad Vilayat Khan played the sitar, like his father did and Mr. Sanju Sahai did play tabla, an instrument he plays in the sixth generation in his family.

The interplay between the two was interesting to observe, especially in the first part: Sahai kept encouraging Khan to explore the scale and the melodies of the raga further and further in the Alap and also the Jor for a full half hour until he finally did join him for the equally extensive Gat.

Unfortunately Khan did not announce the second raga and I couldn't quite identify the name of the third rag either. It sounded like he said 'Purvi.' [I believe it might be Pilu -- let me know what you think]

The graceful tanpura player, Mrs Jaymini Sahai is a bit low in the mix; she is a musical master, as well, by the way, and both practices and teaches Indian dance.

Hidayat Khan: sitar
Sanju Sahai: tabla
Jaymini Sahai: tanpura

total time = 123min 26 sec

I used the program Audacity to apply a small amount of compression, as noted above, and also to remove some (but not all) extraneous noises. The audio file was obtained on the peer-to-peer sharing site "Dimeadozen." I did not record it, and I obtained it in16bit, 44KHz quality so I cannot offer a 24bit version this time.

A lengthy lecture-demonstration by Hidayat Khan

Here's a little solo by Sanju ji which you can watch without leaving my cozy music-filled blog:


  1. Glad to have you back Richard. Hope you and your family are doing well.. Inspired by blogs such as yours and Tawfiq Saab's, I have started a Youtube & Soundcloud channel dedicated to archival classical music recordings (Radio broadcasts and vinyl)
    Do take a look when you get a chance......

    1. Hi Pokri! I have checked out your YT channel and I highly recommend it to everyone.

      Just watch out for the YouTube police. I have a friend who had their account suspended because of several questionable copyright claims. Hopefully nothing unfortunate will happen to yours. Good luck!

  2. Hi there,
    Many thanks for posting the Hidayat concert. It sounds to me like the last raga is Bhairavi, but as Hidayat announces, its a ragamala so there are several ragas played or hinted at during the performance. Its very common for Bhairavi to be played at the end of a concert. As for raga #2, it sounds quite familiar, but I can't identify it yet.
    Regards Louis

    1. Thank you and great hearing from you, Louis! When this concert was first shared online back in 2010 I also suggested that it was Bhairavi. Take care and best of luck!

  3. 'The interplay between the two was interesting to observe, especially in the first part: Sahai kept encouraging Khan to explore the scale and the melodies of the raga further and further in the Alap and also the Jor... ' How can this be the case, since Sahai does not play during the Alap and Jor?

  4. I was not there, but I would find it strange to think there was no communication between soloist and tabla player during the Alap. At concerts I have attended, there is usually a lot of nodding, soft cries of “wah!” and hand motions letting the soloist know s/he is rocking the tabla player’s world, please don’t stop playing, I am enjoying this so much, that meend is so beautiful, give us more, etc.

  5. Replies
    1. You are very welcome, Christopher.
      Sometimes when I upload live concerts I feel that I am not living up to the identity of this blog, which is supposed to be preserving LPs and cassettes which are no longer readily available as physical product. On the other hand, when I get access to well-recorded live concerts of these musicians, I can't help but t share. Originally I was going to have a blog devoted to live concerts of ICM, but then I realized I already had too many blogs to take care of! Best to all my readers.

  6. Thank you for another beautiful addition to my files.

  7. Please amend my previous comment to read *YOUR* files... ;`]