The liner notes:
Padmabhushan Nikhil Banerjee (1931-1986) was one of the finest sitarists of his time. His music earned deep respect among India’s classical music connoisseurs as well as gaining him a devoted international following. He was the disciple of the two greatest forces in 20th Century Indian classical instrumental music, Padmavibhushan Allauddin Khan and his son Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Though he recorded a number of LPs, few were of live concerts, in which his leisurely, majestic raga development was unsurpassed. Mr. Banerjee disliked being recorded, feeling that the process distracted and somewhat compromised the inner meditative quality of his music, so high-fidelity live recordings are rare. Raga Records is releasing a series of concert recordings to help preserve Mr. Banerjee’s legacy. Other Raga releases have articles by and about and interviews with Mr. Banerjee. These texts are available online at www.raga.com.
Prem Vallabh (1918–c.1970s) is remembered both as a tabla player who learned from Ahmedjan Thirakwa, and as a pakhawaj player of the Kudau Singh tradition. Prem Vallabh was employed as a tabla player at All India Radio, New Delhi. He was frequently chosen to accompany India’s leading musicians in the weekly National Program radio broadcasts.
From a letter by Felix van Lamsweerde: Apart from his beautiful music, the main thing I remember strongly about Nikhil Banerjee is his soft manner and extreme modesty. In fact, when I asked him for permission to record, he said: “Why? I am not good enough yet. Better record me another time, later!”
Recorded by Felix van Lamsweerde, 30 December 1964 at 9 p.m. Live Concert in the 38th Music Conference of the Madras Music Academy. Nagra III full track mono recording 7 1/2 inch NAB. Microphones: AKG dynamic + Sennheiser condenser microphone for sitar, Sennheiser MD 211 dynamic microphone for tabla, balanced with Nagra mixer type BM. Mastered for CD by Felix van Lamsweerde March 2010. Released by arrangement with Mrs. Roma Banerjee. Cover photo by Bhaidu Sanyal courtesy of John Campana. Produced by Ira Landgarten and John Wilton.