Extraordinary Orchestras: Ravi Shankar, and Iva Bittova

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the album covers for Ravi Shankars Music Festival from India, and Iva Bittova's Zvon

Sometimes diverse musical influences intersect in the orchestra, with exciting results. For his "Music Festival from India," in 1974 Ravi Shankar assembled an orchestra of instruments and musicians from the various traditions of India, and composed colorful pieces that bring those traditions together with Western harmony and ensemble playing. The album that resulted was produced by George Harrison, and was out of print for decades. David Garland presents selections from that old LP, and highlights from a brand new recording, "Zvon," which features Czech singer/violinist/composer Iva Bittova with the Prague Philharmonic. Bittova's unique, playful, emotional compositions draw on her Moravian heritage and many other influences as well as what she calls her own "personal folk music," and presented with orchestra they take on majestic dimensions.