I’m delighted to introduce the first offering in our new Features section. This part of the site will grow into an online exhibition and discussion forum and this first piece, by Matthew Pritchard, serves perfectly as a provocation and a keynote.
Tagore’s reception in the West has often been hampered by stylistic misunderstandings. His words and music are easily misrepresented and sometimes just barely limp across the cultural divide. The Tagore Centre would like to take a fresh look at Tagore’s legacy and help to find what makes it compelling and relevant in our time. Matthew Pritchard describes a journey towards understanding that might be an inspiration for others and might prompt a re-evaluation of some old material.
Certainly he’s articulated for me a vague dissatisfaction I have always felt with the standard presentation of Rabindrasangeet. I’ve struggled against my nagging doubts because I was convinced there must be something of value to discover in my own heritage. Now I feel very excited by the possibilities Matthew hints at, of renewed marriage vows between the musics of Bengal and Europe.