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Nirmalya Dey | Dhrupad Vocal: Ragas Shivmat Bhairav, Gaud Sarang, Adana

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Press reviews Smithsonian recordings nirmalyadhrupad.org Contact Nirmalya Dey Feature: Colors of Life Last performance with Fariduddin Dagar Youtube videos

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Dhrupad Vocal: Ragas Shivmat Bhairav, Gaud Sarang, Adana

by Nirmalya Dey

The subtlety and intricacy of the soulful Dagarvani tradition of dhrupad — at once meditative and lively — is brought to life through these rarely-performed ragas by the mellifluous voice of acclaimed vocalist Pandit Nirmalya Dey.
Genre: World: Indian Classical
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Shivmat Bhairav (Alap and Dhamar) [14 Beats]
34:05 album only
2. Gaud Sarang (Alap and Dhrupad Set to Chautal) [12 Beats]
27:14 album only
3. Adana (Alap and Dhrupad Set to Sooltal) [10 Beats]
15:21 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Pandit Nirmalya Dey is a premier exponent of Dagarvani dhrupad, which represents the purest form of North Indian classical music as embodied through the raga system.

A dhrupad performance begins with a melodic phrase illuminating a single note, which is often enough to establish the mood and identify the raga that will be performed. The performer then builds up the raga step by step, with each note in the raga shown in relation to others, using ornaments specific to the dhrupad style. The focus of the presentation is always on the purity of the notes and on the mood of the raga, and the melodic sentences are profoundly intricate, with the phrasings arising from the tonal shades of the raga and the phonetics of the syllables. Dhrupad is thus intensely adorned music, but the adornments are different from those used in other genres of Indian music.

Nirmalya Dey's music showcases the vast and subtle beauty of the Dagarvani school of dhrupad. His distinctive approach to sound production, and his soulful exposition of the raga with its essential nuances and aesthetic, holds listeners spellbound during a performance and leaves them savouring the music for a long time afterwards. He uses his command over the techniques and ornamentations of Dagarvani dhrupad to weave the raga into the mind of the listener, so that it is felt deeply even by someone untrained in the music.

Nirmalya Dey learnt his art primarily from the great musician and teacher Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, who taught him the techniques and the subtleties of dhrupad closely and with great affection. So vast is this music, and such is the depth of the Ustad's teaching, that Nirmalya feels that he is still learning from his Ustad through his practice, even though the Ustad passed away in 2013. Nirmalya Dey started learning music at an early age, inspired by his mother, and received his initial training in dhrupad from Prof. Nimaichand Boral, a disciple of Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar. However, his training with Fariduddin Dagar transformed his music in a fundamental way. Nirmalya Dey has continued this tradition of spreading knowledge by teaching individual students and by holding workshops and lecture-demonstrations in India and around the world.

Nirmalya Dey is a Top Grade artiste with All India Radio and with Indian National Television (Doordarshan), two of the major supporters and sponsors of Indian classical music in modern India, and has received several fellowships and awards recognizing his excellence in dhrupad. He has regularly performed in major music festivals in India, as well as in France, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, UK, USA, Bangladesh and Fiji. Apart from his own recordings of dhrupad, he has produced two anthologies of North Indian classical music, "Krishna seva" (Haveli Sangeet) and "Tansen", featuring various artistes including himself, with the music composed by him. More information about him can be found at his website www.nirmalyadhrupad.org

Dhrupad rendition is accompanied by a sonorous double-headed drum called the pakhawaj. In this album, Nirmalya is accompanied by Mohan Shyam Sharma, one of the leading pakhawaj players in India. Mohan Shyam learnt the pakhawaj from Pandit Tota Ram Sharma of Mathura, and started his career accompanying Zahiruddin and Faiyazuddin, the junior Dagar Brothers, and the rudra-veena player Ustad Asad Ali Khan, in India and abroad. He has accompanied world-renowned musicians such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and Ustad Amjad All Khan, and is a much sought-after accompanist in dhrupad and in other genres of Indian classical music.

The recordings for this album were made by Andrei Demidenko, a student of Nirmalya Dey.

Press reviews of past performances:
(collected at http://www.associationsargam.com/nirmalya.htm)

"In the new generation of the Dagarvani, a shining name is Nirmalya Dey. Having been trained under the guidance of Ustad Fariduddin Dagar, he acquired with ease the deep essential aspects of this style of Dhrupad and integrated them into his singing..." (translation)
Performance at Tansen Festival, Gwalior
Ravindra Mishra, Jansatta, New Delhi

"Nirmalya Dey... presented a composition of Baiju in Raga Sohini...he kept the audience spellbound with his mellifluous voice, beautiful rendition, creating the tonic shades to augment the mood of the melody, artistic elaboration of the melody with myriad rhythmic phrases, that establishes his sincere devotion to the art and the school - Dagarvani" (translation)
Performance at Tansen Festival, Gwalior
Gwalior Times, Gwalior

"...he delighted and impressed me with an admirable, if brief, alapa in raga Pooriya. His alapa evolves, as it should, by degrees, patiently, reverentially. Further, he keeps his gamak ang passages duly controlled, so that they evoke the requisite air of power and depth without any offence to the listening ear; and in layakari, as incidental to the singing of dhrupad or dhamar, he takes care to avoid hacking words brutally into meaningless fragments. Dey is never slow to acknowledge his indebtedness to Fariduddin Dagar, his teacher.... but I must give credit also to Dey's own committment and aesthetic sense. I would indeed be surprised if he does not go far"
Performance at Dhrupad Samaroha, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
S.K. Saxena, Shruti

"Nirmalya Dey is a popular performer of this generation. He plays a distinguished role to revive the culture of Dhrupad and inspire the youth with his mellifluous rendition...Nirmaly's voice resonates with the spirit and mood of the melody. He does not simply play the scale. His command over the tone and rhythm deserves a lot of acclamation." (translation)
Performance at India International Centre, Delhi
Vijayshankar Mishra, Rashtriya Shahara, New Delhi

"Rendition of Alap and Dhrupad in Raga Puriya followed by Dhamar composition in Raga Bahagda is an example of Nirmaly's accomplishment in imbibing the technique of vocal tradition in the Dagar school. His presentation was an experience of skilful voice representation adorned with unlimited melodic phrases" (translation)
Performance at Musical tribute to the Late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar,
Y. Chavan Hall, Mumbai
Madanlal Vyas, Navbharat Times, Mumbai

"...There are few Dhrupad singers today and this made Dey's recital more interesting. He began with a very elaborate Alaap in the Raga Bihag.... with such embellishments as Meends, Tihais and with his superb Laykari, he made his recital very appealing."
Performance at Three-day festival organised by Komal Nishad, Baroda
J.S. Pathak, The Times of India, Ahmedabad

"The three-day music festival...was a vehicle for journeying into the sub and supra conscious....the upcoming artiste Nirmalya Dey('s) Alap, Jod and Jhala in Behag showed his keen perception of the Raga but the Dhamar was presented in an authoritative manner. Dey is going to keep up the tradition of the Dagar Gharana of Dhrupadias. His 'Shiv Stuti' in Raga Malkauns in 'Sulfaqta' tal was also full of heritage."
Performance at Three-day festival organised by Komal Nishad, Baroda
Sarvesh Chandra mathur, Indian Express, Vadodara

"...the highlight of the festival was the Dhrupad recital of Nirmalya Dey.... (he) has maintained a good voice and authenticity of style. His performance was agreably free from boisterous music which one hears sometimes from Dhrupad exponents in the name of vigour. It was pleasing in alaap, it was pleasing in the composition in 'chaar-taal and it was more so in the variety of bol-bannts with which he embelished the Dhrupad in raga Bhimpalasi..."
Performance at Videshi Kalakar Utsav, Delhi
R.N. Varma, The Hindu, Delhi



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