The raga cycle given by Pandit Pran Nath at the Palace Theater in Paris 1972 was the first time a master Indian classical vocalist had presented three consecutive days of ragas sung at the appropriate times of day, giving the Western audience insight into the characteristics that inform the moods and atmospheres of evening, afternoon, and morning ragas. The recording here is from the Saturday, May 27, 1972 afternoon concert and features "Raagini Bheempalasi" and "Raag Puriya Dhanaashree." This is the Maestro at the very summit of his creative and vocal powers. His inspiration merged with his excitement of being in Paris and added to the uniqueness of these performances. As he guided his ragas at an unhurried pace with a surety and command of the musical language, details emerge in the music so profound that new delights continue to surface.
Pandit Pran Nath was born in 1918 in Lahore, India which was to become Pakistan. He was one of the foremost disciples of the legendary singer, Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan, Sahib of Kirana. Khan Sahib was known for his long extended renditions of ragas in the melodic Kirana style, often lasting hours. His knowledge of raga science was unparalleled, allowing him to unveil endless permutations and combinations of phrases. Pandit Pran Nath absorbed this knowledge of raga from his Guru, building on these majestic forms in a unique and inimitable way. Pran Nath's rich vocal quality and imaginative renditions of well-known ragas singled him out as one of the greatest masters in the history of Indian Classical Music.
Pan Nath's music is ancient and modern, full of fresh flights of imagination. It is no wonder that his numerous performances in the West attracted devotees and students. Besides La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, he instructed musicians of the American avant garde, including Jon Hassell, Lee Konitz, Allaudin Mathieu, Charlemagne Palsestine, Sufi Pir, Shabda Kahn and many others. His impact on contemporary music continues to grow.