January 27, 2018

Asad Ali Khan: Maestro's Choice [Music Today A91012] a cassette released in India in 1991

While on the subject of veenas, we move toward the North and the Dhrupad tradition. 

The Rudra Veena is an enormous veena with two very large resonating bowls. There is a fretted board between them and the performer sits between both resonators. By moving his body he can bend the note slightly.

Asad Ali Khan has several delightful recordings including one on Nimbus Records. There are 5 or 6 videos of full concerts posted to YouTube by one of his former students currently living in Calcutta, Carsten Wicke. When the Ustad died in 2011 it was an especially sad moment because he seemed to be genuinely interested in teaching.

Equipment used in this transfer:
Cassette Deck: Teac W890R (azimuth was carefully adjusted for each side)
Preamp: Parasound PHP 850
Recorder: Roland R-05 at 24/48
Software: Audacity and xAct


  1. Thank you very much for sharing this beautiful Rudra Veena album Richard. Also, I have a reup request for a recording you shared a couple years back - 'Ram Narayan plays Sarangi'. The Zippyshare links are no more valid.... Many thanks

  2. Hi Richard,

    so good you are also uploading the 24 bit flac of a cassette here and now. Awesome. Thanks a lot.
    So many great records you are sharing with us.
    May you be able to carry on as you do right now for a long time.

    Wish you all the best,

    a friend of Indien Classical Music

  3. Thank you Richard. I've enjoyed this. What has entirely blown my tiny mind, though, is the videos found via your link. Watching the maestro play this enormous instrument with such intensity, fire, and delicacy is absolutely riveting. I've now spent hours glued to the AAK & Rudra Veena videos uploaded by Carston Wicke. Thank you SO MUCH for introducing me to this master musician and his wonderful, fascinating vehicle.

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know!
      I definitely agree with you about those videos. Absolutely fantastic. YouTube continues to offer up unexpected gems!

    2. yotte, I've been thinking more about your comment about enjoying those videos of Asad Ali Khan. I never met him, but I certainly wish I did. You can tell he is absolutely in his zone and loving every single moment performing. I imagine him thinking, "Now, hold on, just wait for it, this next note is going to be amazing.... I'm ready, I hope you're ready... here it goes.... BOWWWWWWWWWW..." and then the smile of delight. I hope Mr Wicke can someday write a long article about what it was like going on tour with him and being his student. Cheers!