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Masterworks from the NCPA Archives

In 2009, the NCPA in a historic move decided to make available a range of music from the NCPA’s archival treasure trove that include rare recordings of legendary Indian musicians, by releasing them on CDs and digital formats. The NCPA tied up with global music giant Sony Music Entertainment, and in 2011 released the first set of eleven original recordings of renowned Indian Music artistes from the NCPA Archives, titled ‘MASTERWORKS from the NCPA Archives’.  As of 2012, 15 studio titles of music recorded in the NCPA recording studios from 1969-1990 and 3 new Carnatic ‘Live’ titles of music recorded at concerts at the NCPA have been released.

The NCPA Archives was conceived as the brain child of NCPA founders Dr Jamshed Bhabha and JRD Tata and executed by Dr. Narayana Menon, NCPA’s first Executive Director in the ‘70s, with the objective of recording and preserving for posterity the finest performances in classical and folk music traditions, which have been handed down through the oral tradition by renowned teachers over generations. With over 5000 hours of exclusive audio recordings taken from live and studio performances and 1,200 hours of film footage of musicians - never released in the public arena, the NCPA’s Archives rank among one of the world’s finest documentary resources for Indian Music. 

Available CDs

Over 200 artistes, with most of the stalwarts of Hindustani and Carnatic Music genres, have left an indelible imprint of their music on the NCPA Archives over the past thirty years. Some of the great artistes whose works feature in the Archives include: Bismillah Khan, Vilayat Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Alla Rakha, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Mallikarjun Mansur, Kumar Gandharva, Nikhil Banerjee, Gangubai Hangal, Dagar Brothers, Rashid Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Amjad Ali Khan to name just a few in Hindustani and M L Vasanthakumari, M S Subbulakshmi, Dr Balamuralikrishna, Lalgudi Jayaraman, M S Gopalakrishnan, D K Pattamal and more in Carnatic. The music of these artistes was recorded by the NCPA on the best studio recording equipment available at the time, and represents, in the view of the artistes themselves some of the best work, they have ever performed.

Preserved in controlled optimal conditions of pressure and humidity, in a specially-created studio environment, the NCPA Archives have been listed by International Music Collection (IMC), of the British Library National Sound Archive as one of the top 137 archives of the world, in its Final Report of "Archiving the Music World".

The unique albums are available across the globe in physical formats such as CDs, LPs etc., at all leading music stores, as well as in digital formats such as Internet download & streaming and mobile download & streaming services etc.

Album Reviews
Press Coverage
Aug 4, 2012, Hindustan Times

30 Jul 2012, HT

Aug 4, 2012, HT

30 Jul 2012, HT

30 Jul 2012, HT