West Meets East is an album by American violinist Yehudi Menuhin and Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, released in 1966. It was recorded following their successful duet in June 1966 at theBath Musical Festival, where they had played some of the same material.
West Meets East won the 1967 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, the first time that an Asian musician had won a Grammy. This recognition coincided with a period of heightened interest in Indian classical music, and particularly Shankar, as Western pop and rock bands such as the Beatles, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones and Traffic all adopted sitar or other aspects of the genre into their sound.
The album was the first in a trilogy of "West Meets East" collaborations by Menuhin and Shankar, volumes two and three appearing in 1968 and 1976, respectively. The friendship between the two musicians had begun in India in the early 1950s, after which Menuhin had done much to introduce Western audiences to Indian music.
On the recording, the main performers are accompanied at various points by tabla player Alla Rakha; Menuhin's sister, pianist Hephzibah Menuhin; and Prodyot Sen, on tambura. In addition to Shankar's and Menuhin's liner notes on the album sleeve, musician John Barham supplied a glossary, explaining musical terms such as alap, gat and tala. At the Bath Festival, Barham had translated Shankar's interpretation of Raga Tilang into Western annotation for Menuhin's benefit. When making West Meets East, Shankar rewrote this Tilang-based piece,recording it with Menuhin as "Swara Kakali". The album's opening selection is "Prabhati", a Shankar composition based on Raga Gunakali, and played by Menuhin and Rakha.
The fourth selection, filling side two in the LP format, is "Sonata for Violin & Piano No. 3 in A minor, Op. 25", featuring Hephzibah Menuhin. This piece was written by Romanian composerGeorge Enescu, who had been Yehudi Menuhin's teacher.
All selections by Ravi Shankar except where noted.
- "Prabhati" – 4:08
- "Raga Puriya Kalyan" – 11:45
- "Swara Kakali (based on Raga Tilang)" – 8:46
- "Sonata for Violin & Piano No. 3 in A minor, Op. 25" (George Enescu) – 24:08