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Chant Dhrupad À Vezelay

Music of the world

The origins of dhrupad are to be found in both history and myth. Historically, dhrupad is a poetic and musical genre that came about in the 15th century at the court of King Man Singh Tomar of Gwalior (1486-1516). Because of its unequal prestige, dhrupad has remained, up to this day, the reference of Northern Indian music styles. Its origins are also mythical in that it is the oldest genre of Hindustani music —and old easily turns into immemorial in the Indian thought. Dhrupad is therefore said be contemporary with the Vedas, the religious and social codes dating back to the 15th century B.C. for Ustad H. Sayeeduddin Dagar singing is an act of faith. What does it matter if the divinities praised in dhrupad poems belong to the Hindu pantheon whereas the Dagar are Muslims ? "God is One" Ustad H. Sayeeduddin Dagar often repeats. The myth also expresses the immemorial character of that song that has been passed on orally from one generation to the next, from father to son, as far as memory can go back. Sayeeduddin Dagar (born 1939), belongs to the 19th generation of the Dagar family's. This CD was recorded during a concert given in the narthex of Vezelay basilica on July 31, 2005. Sayeeduddin Dagar interprets four râgs : Bhopâlî, Chandre Kauns, Gunkalî, and, as a finale, Jogiâ. The first three râgs were performed in a classical configuration, the singer facing the audience. Before the finale, while the doors of the narthex were opened, Sayeeduddin Dagar turned towards the altar and choir. He sang Jogiâ in the original, sacred configuration of dhrupad, with his back to the audience yet united with them in a moment of moving, intense musical communion.