This is a 24-bit/44.1 kHz transcription using high-end analog equipment of a performance by Emani Sankara Sastry of two ragas on the vina, accompanied by Madras A. Kannan on mridangam. It was recorded by Jacques Brunet in 1975, and released on LP in the excellent Ocora (Radio France) series (558 503), distributed by Harmonia Mundi. It has not to my knowledge ever been released on CD.
The vina is the closest instrument in Indian classical music to the guitar or lute, with two resonators that gives it richness and depth of tone. It takes various forms, but the one used in this recording has 24 frets, four plucked strings and three drone strings. The vina is used in both the Hindustani and Carnatic musical traditions from the North and South of India. These performances are in the Carnatic tradition. The mridangam is a two-sided drum that plays the same role in Carnatic music as the tabla does in Hindustani music. More information about each of these instruments and about Indian classical music in general can be found on wikipedia.
This is a very clean, clear, and immediate recording, made in a suitable acoustic space. It is close-miked enough to reveal occasional noises made by the musicians. The LP transcribed for this torrent is in excellent condition with only a couple of bits of noise and no noticeable tracking distortion.
Sorry not to include the liner notes, but I don't expect to have time to scan them and I want to make this excellent recording available. They contain a few photographs of the interpreters. E.S. Sastry looks like a respectable bank president with silver hair, bushy eyebrows, and horn-rimmed glasses. M.A. Kanna looks like a hawk-eyed Vedic warrior. More information on the late E.S. Sastry than is in the liner notes can be found in his wikipedia article.
I have recently uploaded several other 24-bit LP transcriptions of comparable quality, and will be doing more in the near future. You can find them by clicking on my user id.
Equipment used for A/D conversion: Lyra Helikon phono cartridge, Linn LP12/Lingo turntable, Linn Ittok tonearm, Audioquest LeoPard tonearm cable, PS Audio PS2 preamplifier, Kimber PBJ interconnect, M-Audio Audiophile USB A/D converter.
01 - Pancharatna Kirtana, Raga Sri - Adi Tala [22:51]
02 - Vachaspathi Ragan - Adi Tala [21:30]
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, this recording is not currently available commercially. If you know otherwise, please let me know ASAP, as I do not wish any artists to be deprived of the royalties that they so richly deserve.