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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bachchan and Schubert

It's been a while since I posted on music. I've been listening in a practically continuous loop to two very different pieces over the last few days.

The first is 'Neela Aasman So Gaya' from Silsila. Silsila is one of the few older Hindi movies I have actually seen - being made to watch it by my mother at some point. I remember not understanding very much of it but quite liking it overall. I was also aware that this movie contained some pretty famous songs - 'Yeh Kahaan aa Gaye Hum', 'Dekha Ek Khwab', 'Rang Barse' and so on. Recently in the Mess of all places, the song 'Neela Aasman' (the Amitabh Bachchan version) was playing on TV and I was struck by the tune and picturization of the song.

Finding the song on Youtube, I was surprised to discover that Bachchan had himself sung this beautiful song. His singing doesn't quite agree with me in places. While his voice is a weak-knees inducing baritone with so much potential, his diction and rather flat rendering really jar sometimes with the slow and unearthly arrangement the song has. I think it is in the last minute of the song that you really see the potential his voice has. He mellows down the harshness of his tone and blends much better with the music and for a few seconds, not just the music, but the beauty of his voice also transports you.

For the musical arrangement and the picturization, I am in love with this song. It is so ridiculously romantic. The two of them aren't really doing anything - they're just walking hand in hand and as night sets in, he sings to her. There are no major displays of affection and yet the chemistry between them is electric. I could just go on watching this, it is just so lovely. And the music suits the mood beautifully - smooth and mellow with no sudden high notes.


The other piece of music is 'The Trout' quintet composed by Schubert; more specifically the 4th theme and variations. I particularly love this video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlxVTpEyMEw. I picked up this piece from 'An Equal Music' (in my quest to hear all the musical compositions described in the book. Didn't like the 'Art of Fugue' though) and just love how happy and playful the music is. The whimsical way in which notes leap around between instruments is lovely. My favorite bits are when the piano comes in for the first time (What an instrument! I must learn it) and when at 3:00 minutes in the above video, the quintet goes completely berserk playing the high speed variations. While I cannot comment critically on this music, I continue to be amazed by how beautifully instruments blend in western classical music. I should really try listening to more of it!

2 comments:

Amber said...

I have always thought Neela Aasman has an incredibly romantic video. I think in my impressionable years it sort of defined the idea of romance for me, walking looking with your hands in the jacket pocket or hand in hand with the girl..

Btw you should try Schubert's Ave Maria too..this version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY0-VNKgLaU

actinium said...

...and while we are talking about versatility of a Piano, I'd recommend Yann Tiersen's earlier work (from '90s and early '00s), Pianos, Accordions and Violins...

La Dispute
La Veillée
La Valse D'Amelie (Piano)
La Valse D'Amelie (Orchestre)
Le Moulin