Notturna: Calcutta 1789

July 7, 2023, 9:00 am

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Calcutta 1789, the latest album by the ensemble Notturna, is a fascinating portrait of 18th century musical life in India during the British colonial period. Under the direction of Christopher Palameta, the program combines traditional Indian music with works by Purcell, Handel, J.C. Bach, and other European composers. Notturna’s period instrumentalists are joined by the sounds of the sitar, played by Uwe Neumann, and the tabla, played by Shawn Mativetsky. Inspired by a 1789 concert program discovered in the archives of Calcutta, the recording reconstructs the rich cultural exchange that developed between Indian and English musicians who were brought to India as part of the British East India Company’s entourage.