Reviews

Zubin Mehta's L.A. return gives Shankar raga a proper home and makes Strauss hero's journey personal

Zubin Mehta's L.A. return gives Shankar raga a proper home and makes Strauss hero's journey personal

I prepared for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Friday night by listening to a recording of Ravi Shankar playing the lovely dawn raga “Lalit” as L.A.’s morning light poured in the window. It was a marvelous way to start the day.

“Lalit” is the source material for the opening of Shankar’s Second Sitar Concerto (“Raga Mala”), which was written for the New York Philharmonic and waited more than 35 years to finally arrive on the West Coast, where it belongs. It was a marvelous way to end the day.

Zubin Mehta, who premiered the concerto in 1981, conducted. Anoushka Shankar, the late...

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