Author: Reba Som
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780670082483
We often forget that Gitanjali, the book of poems for which Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, was actually a collection of songs. In his lifetime, Tagore was most renowned for his songwriting. But today, outside Bengal, his music remains largely unknown and his songs are scarcely understood.
Much of what Tagore experienced in life—his frustrations, his grief, his sense of devastation after the suicide of the woman he loved—were expressed in songs. The distinction of Tagore’s musical oeuvre lies in the near-perfect balance that he achieved between the evocative lyrics, the matching melody and the rhythmic structure in which each song is bound. Even his art, which flowered late in his life, was influenced by music. Music, in fact, is the key to understanding Tagore: the man and his greatness.
This is a biography of Tagore with music as its leitmotif. It maps out chronologically the musical journey of the poet with anecdotes and allusions, and includes translations of some of Tagore’s most evocative songs. Illustrated with photographs and paintings that are crucial to the understanding of Tagore as a musician, and accompanied by an audio CD of Tagore’s songs, this is the best introduction possible to the magical world of Rabindrasangeet.
2. Early Beginnings
3. Music in the Family
4. Kadambari Debi: The Poet’s Muse
5. The English Interlude
6. Music and Feeling
7. Marriage and Death
10. Jeevan Devata
11. Three Phases of Musical Journey
13. The Singer and His Song
14. Reaching out to the World
15. Visva Bharati
17. Evening Melody: Victorial Ocampo
18. Fresg Creative Vitality: Art and Dance
19. The End
20. The Genius