Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tribute! Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan

Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan (1911-1975)
Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan "DILRANG" was one of the top-most vocal artistes of the millennium. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was born on 5th March 1911 at Atrauli (Aligarh U.P.). 2011 will be the birth centenary year of this great music. The departure of Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan, from the scene of Indian Music, marked the end of an era, which had produced some of the greatest exponents of Indian Classical Music and Khayal Gayaki. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan was a rarity among his contemporaries. He was a unique amalgam of a vocalist, poet, teacher and a sportsman. Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan belonged to the very prestigious families of traditional vocalists of Atrauli (said to be Jaipur) Gharana, Khurja Gharana and the Agra Gharana, which has given India such giants as Haji Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan, Ustad Allahdiya Khan, Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, Ustad Fayyaz Khan, Ustad Tanras Khan and many others.. 

(A rare photograph of stalwarts of Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana of Daguri Bani ) 
Sitting Left to Right : Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan ( 1911 to 1975 )
Ustad Allahdiya Khan (1855 to 1946), Ustad Nathan Khan.

Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan, received rigorous training in music from Haji Ustad Alfat Hussain Khan (his maternal uncle) of Khurja Gharana since his early childhood. Later when he came to Mumbai in 1930, he was very fortunate in receiving an intense training and huge treasure of classical Bandhishes, from his paternal uncle Ustad Allahdiya Khan, of the Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana. He also learned a number of Ragas and classical compositions from the great Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan (his brother-in-law) of the Agra Gharana. In his top form he created his own individual style and won the love and admiration of the people because of his own inherent quality of singing which was original at the same time traditional. His gayaki also possessed the impressions of great stalwarts like Ustad Shabboo Khan Sahab and Ustad Fayyaz Khan Sahab. His Gayaki represented a happy fusion of Khurja, Atrauli (Jaipur), Agra and Delhi Gharanas. His father Ustad Khairat Ali Khan Sahab was an ascetic as well as an accomplished Sitarist. Many of his ancestors were excellent Beenkars and Scholars in Urdu, Hindi, Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit.

 Seemab was impressed by the youthful lyrics of Ustad Azmat Hussain and accepted him as his disciple. The poetic inclination of Ustad Azmat Hussain found expressions in Ghazals, Poems and Poetic drama, which he wrote under the pen name "Maykash Atraulvi". Like all truly great masters he contributed to and enriched his great musical heritage. Under the pen - name of Dilrang he composed more than 150 Bandishes in various Ragas such as Todi, Shree, Marwa, Puriya Dhanshri, Malkauns Kedara, Malsri, Devgiri - Bilwal, Bairagi, Bilhagda, Bhoopali, Hindoli "Chandrajog", "Devta Bhairon" (the last two are his own creations). His compositions stand out for their lyrics and beauty of form. Khan Sahab had been acknowledged as the greatest exponent of Khurja, Atrauli (Jaipur) Gharana, Time cannot obliterate the memory of his innumerable performances each of which was a gem of purest ray serene. Indeed, his masterly expositions of rare Ragas, breathtaking Taans and bewildering Laayakari recalled to the minds of listeners Shakespeare's descriptions "Age cannot wither her nor custom stale her infinite variety." The individually unique style of Khan Sahab's Gayaki won him the titles of "Tankapatan". 'Gayan Samrat' and after 'Sangeet Sartaj'

Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan "Main Vaari Vaari Jaaungi" in Raga Yaman Kalyan

Azmat Hussain Khan: List of 78 rpm recording: Columbia Records (c.1935) 

 1a   GE 1573  Malkosh  kaun karat mose rar
 1b   Anand (Nand)  rahe rain piya
 2a   GE 1626 [Puriya]  aawan kahe aja kahilawa (the raga name in contemporary catalogues says "Puriya" but the raga is most likely Durga)
2b  Yaman   main wari wari jaun

3a   GE 1647  Todi  turkake sang
3b  Dhanashri (i.e. Puriya dhanashri)  meri mushkil karo aasaan baat mori (also see note below)
4a     GE 1703  Marwa  kas kamarawa 
 [Note: Patrick Moutal gives the bandish "mushakil karo aasaan baat mori" as Purvi]
Acknowledgements: To Suresh Chandvankar (Mumbai) and Anup Jalan for help with the above.

Gayan Samrat Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan "Dilrang" - Raag Dhanasri 1

 Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan - Raag Gauri 3 - Dilrang.wmv


  1. Mushkil karo aasaan Khwaja Moinuddin Ajmeri Data. This Bandish is in Raga Puriya Dhanashri. Its composed by famous Khurja Gharana doyen Haji Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan. Most of these records sung by Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan are unnecessarily stored and compiled by some of the record collectors. Its better if these records are published again alongwith other music stalwarts and the music lovers and common music students are benefitted. 2011 was the Birth Centenary year of Miyan Dilrang and Dilrang Academy of Music and Fine Arts celebrated it with great verve and majesty. Four Major music Festivals were organised in which many noted and wellknown musicians participated and paid tribute to Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan Dilrang. A documetary Souvenir in memory of the Ustad is under publication which will soon be released in the near future. Soon the fans and disciples of Dilrang will be able to listen to some of his rarest music recordings.

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