Nishat Khan (sitar), Rashid Mustafa Thirakwa (tabla) & Natasha Ahmad (tanpura)
Reviewed by: Nikki Akinjinmi
Reviewed: 1 September, 2008
Venue: Royal Albert Hall, London
The 12 members of the BBC Singers then performed Messiaen’s “Cinq rechants” inspired by the legend of Tristan and Isolde and capturing the imagery of love and lovers through differing textures and the use of syllables from the Indian-Peruvian language, Quechua. Either in the performance of the work, or due to elements of the work itself, there were suggestions of “Cinq rechants” being reminiscent of a score for a film noir.
Nishat Khan then performed two ‘night ragas’ with Rashid Mustafa Thirakwa on tabla, who provided interesting percussive support during the first raga, and Natasha Ahmad on tanpura, who had replaced Emmanuel Masongsong at short notice.
As the evening came to a close, the sitar’s notes dispersed into the night air of the auditorium with a surreal quality. Looking around the half-empty/half-full Hall was to notice members of the audience lying down, seemingly relaxed, as though at an open-air festival, trying to catch the last bit of warmth from the embers of a fire.