Art is nearer to life than any fact can ever be.
                                            -Ananda K. Kumaraswamy

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Dr. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan — Sarod — One of the world’s greatest living musicians performs a Ragamala based on Rag Kirwani. Recorded in concert in 1984. Accompanied by Swapan Chaudhuri on tabla.


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Jose Neto — Mountains & the Sea — Brazilian guitarist Neto performs original compositions, accompanied by fellow countrymen Airto Moreira on percussion and Flora Purim, vocals.



Teddy Tierup — Franz Liszt — Teddy Tierup traces his line of tutelage, in direct succession back to Liszt himself. Here he performs the Master’s tour de force the Sonata in B minor as well as the introspectively beautiful Legends.


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Dr. L. Subramaniam — Electric Modes, Volume I — Violin virtuoso Subramaniam unfolds original compositions for electric violin, based on Karnatak modes, moods and motifs.
Electric Modes, Volume II — Subramaniam explores Karnatak music on electric violin. Five pentatonic ragams are performed as violin solos, followed by a sixth ragam with mridangam and ghatam accompaniment. Ragams — Hamsadhwani, Hindolam, Rewati, Hamsanadam, Abhogi and Kapi.
(WLA-ES-4&5-CD) 2 CD Set  



Ruggiero Ricci, Brooks Smith — Paganiniana — A living legend of the violin, accompanied by Brooks Smith on piano, performs variations on Paganini’s themes by Liszt, Kochanski, Rachmaninoff, Kreisler, Milstein, Szymanowski and Lehar.



Arturo Delmoni — Bach, Kreisler, Ysaye — Delmoni performs some of the finest and most difficult works for unaccompanied violin; the Bach Partita No. 2 in D minor, the Kreisler Recitativo and Scherzo Op.6, and Ysaye’s Sonata.



Strunz & Farah — Misterio — Acoustic guitarists Jorge Stunz and Ardeshir Farah bring together musical elements from their native South America and the Middle East, respectively.


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Hamza El Din — Lily of the Nile — Music for oud (lute), tar (drum), and voicals by the foremost musician and innovator of the Sudan. A blend of classical Arab and Nubian folk music.



E.L. Diemer, R. Thompson — Music of the Baroque — Baroque chamber music for organ and trumpet by Bach, Teleman, Buxtehude, Delalande, Homilius, Viviani, Zippoli, Campra, Scarlatti, Stanley, and Handel.
Ron Thompson — trumpet. Emma Lou Diemer — organ.



Woodward, Lebow, Gershon — The Six Sonatas for Flute — The complete Bach flute sonatas (BWV 1030-1035), performed by some of Los Angeles finest musicians.
Gary Woodward — flute. Grant Gershon — harpsicord. Roger Lebow — cello.


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Dom Um Romao — Saudades — Dom Um Romao is a master Brazilian percussionist, formerly of Weather Report. He is accompanied here by Alex Blake on bass, Chico Freeman on sax, and fellow Brazilian Izio Gross on piano, in an attempt to bridge the music of Bahia and Harlem.


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Ustad Imrat Khan — Ajmer — The foremost exponent of the surbahar plays rag Alhaiya Bilaval on surbahar and rag Imratkauns on sitar. On rag Imratkauns, Ustad Imrat Khan is accompanied on tabla by his son, Shafaatullah Khan.


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Ustad Salamat Ali Khan — Breath of the Rose — The subcontinent’s Nawwab of khyal and thumri, and former court musician of the Nizam of Hyderabad, sings breathtaking duets with his two sons, Sharafat and Shafkat. Rags — Rageshwari, Bhupali, and Mishra Khamaj.


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Dr. L. Subramaniam — Kalyani — A master violinist of the Karnatak tradition delves into two ragams with the accompaniment of mridangam and ghatam. Puvalur Srinivasan on mridangam and T.H. Subashchandran on ghatam. Ragams — Varnam in Kalyani and Krti in Bilahari.


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Available in dual-layer SACD Format only.
Dr. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan — Indian Architexture The doyen of Hindustani music, and one of the world’s greatest musicians, creates four spellbinding rags that are destined to become part of the world’s musical heritage. Tabla accompaniment by the outstanding Swapan Chaudhuri. Rags — Alam Bhairav, Megh–Sarang, Durga, and Hemant.
(WLA-ES-20-SACD) 2 CD Set


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Vishwa Mohan Bhatt — Gathering Rain Clouds — An outstanding Hindustani musician, Bhatt performs on a unique instrument of his own design, called the mohan vina. Based on the slide guitar, this instrument, with its sympathetic strings, has an exquisite sound. Tabla accompaniment by Sukhvindar Singh. Rags — Miya Ki Malhar and Gavati.


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Vishwa Mohan Bhatt — Saradamani — Bhatt delivers six beautiful light classical compositions, derived from the folk melodies of the subcontinent. Tabla accompaniment by Sukhvindar Singh.


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Dr. L. Subramaniam — Sarasvati — Tamilakam’s legendary violinist executes the complex and difficult modal arrangement of Ragam Tanam Pallavi on acoustic violin. He is accompanied on mridangam and ghatam by T.H. Subashchandran, who performs an outstanding Tani Avartanam (percussion solo). Ragam — Sarasvati Priya.

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Papa Bunka Susso — A Gathering of Elders — Gambia’s most renowned jali is joined by two American gospel singers, in an attempt to reach the roots of Afro-American music, that has its beginnings in West Africa. Bishop Pat Patrick, contralto and Rev. Michelle Lawyer, soprano.


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Ustad Imrat Khan — Lalita — Imrat Khan’s mastery of the surbahar coaxes all the subtlety, depth, and power from this noble instrument, in a solo performance of rag Lalit.


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Ry Cooder, V.M. Bhatt — A Meeting by the River — American guitar legend Ry Cooder teams with Hindustani guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt to create an exotic musical realm. Ry’s bottleneck guitar and Bhatt’s mohan vina evoke musical elements from many cultures and styles. Percussion by Sukhvindar Singh on tabla and Joachim Cooder on dumbek.
Grammy Winner 1993


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Pandit Jasraj — Invocation — One of the great khyal singers, Pandit Jasraj sings two rags in a style that is closer to dhrupad, with no tabla accompaniment. The solemnity with which the master evokes the moods of these rags makes this performance truly an invocation of the Divine. Rags — Darbari and Bhairav.


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The Court Musicians — At the Court of the Chera King — A young khyal singer from the subcontinent is accompanied by one Afghan and six American musicians, performing on instruments such as dobro, violin, cello, dulcimer, sarod, dumbek, and tar. An impressionistic tapestry, containing the textures of many musical traditions.


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Béla Fleck, V. M. Bhatt, Jie-Bing Chen — Tabula Rasa — Foremost innovator on the banjo, Béla Fleck is joined by Hindustani master V. M. Bhatt and Chinese virtuoso Jie-Bing Chen in a collaboration that begins with a clean slate and culminates in a masterpiece of synthesis. Adding poignant but subtle coloring to this unique work are Hindustani flutist Ronu Majumdar and violinist Sangeeta Shankar, as well the Karnatak percussionist Puvalur Srinivasan on mridangam.

Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-44-SACD

Grammy Nominee 1996


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-46-SACD
Taj Mahal, V.M. Bhatt, N. Ravikiran — Mumtaz Mahal — Taj Mahal, a repository of the musical traditions of the West African Diaspora in the New World, teams with Hindustani wizard of the mohan vina, V.M. Bhatt and Karnatak virtuoso of the chitra vina, N. Ravikiran. Their interpretation of popular Afro-American songs drawn from various genres is a unique musical synthesis.


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-47-SACD
Jerry Douglas, V.M. Bhatt, Edgar Meyer — Bourbon & Rosewater — Jerry Douglas (dobro) and Edgar Meyer (upright bass) are two of the finest musicians to come out of Nashville in recent years, with their roots in country/bluegrass and classical/jazz respectively. In this recording with V.M. Bhatt, they together explore commonalities and parallels between bluegrass and Hindustani music, proving that the High Lonesome ethos is universal.


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-49-SACD
Martin Simpson, Wu Man — Music for the Motherless Child — English guitarist Martin Simpson is known for having successfully synthesized a style that blends the best of the finger picking traditions of the British Isles and Appalachia. Wu Man is a virtuoso of the Pipa, a Chinese lute which, like the western guitar, is derived from the Middle Eastern oud.


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Mevlevi Ensemble of Turkey — "Wherever You Turn Is the Face of GOD" — The 13th century Sufi master Mevlana Jelálúddín Rúmí founded the Mevlevi order of dervishes. The Mevlevi Ensemble of Turkey performs the music that accompanies the whirling ceremony initiated by Rúmí to enable the microcosm of man to transcend into the macrocosm of the Divine.


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-ES-51-SACD
Simon Shaheen, V. M. Bhatt — Saltanah — Another historic recording of a virtuoso of the Arabian classical tradition, who here performs on both oud and violin with Hindustani master V.M. Bhatt. The maqam of the Arabic world and the rag of the subcontinent fuse into a music that is truly exalted, as the title suggests. The two masters are ably supported by Hindustani musicians Ronu Majumdar on flute and Sangeeta Shankar on violin. Rag/Maqam: Kirwani-Nahawand; Vasanth Mukhari-Hijaz; Bagashwari-'Ajam Mu’addal; Pahari-'Ajam; Bhairavi-Kurd.


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-56-SACD
James Newton, Kadri Golpalnath — Southern Brothers — The Karnatak ethos of the south of the subcontinent blends perfectly with that of the blues, jazz and gospel music rooted in the American south. Jazz legend of the flute Newton and Karnatak master of the saxophone Gopalnath touch the soul with this music. Mridangam accompaniment by Puvalur Srinivasan.


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-59-SACD
Dr. L. Subramaniam, Larry Coryell — From the Ashes — This is the first recording made by violinist Subramaniam since the passing of his beloved wife, Viji. The pain of separation that death brings into life is transcended only through love. This music, augmented by Coryell's introspective guitar playing, mirrors that process of transformation.


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-63-SACD
David Hidalgo, Martin Simpson, Viji Krishnan — Kambara Music in Native Tongues— Herein is an attempt to blend aspects of folk-rock with that of Karnatak music. Multi-instrumentalist Hidalgo performs on bajo sexto and accordion while Simpson plays steel and acoustic guitars to which Krishnan’s violin and Srinivasan’s mridangam add a distinct Karnatak hue.


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The Philadelphia Orchestra — Nature's Realm — This is the first coincident-miked, all-tube analogue recording of a major symphony orchestra in over twenty years. One of the greatest orchestras in the world has been recorded with a naturalness and purity of timbre that is seldom heard today. Under the baton of Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch, one of the great conductors of our time, the Philadelphia Orchestra delivers stirring performances of Franz Liszt's Les Préludes , and Antonín Dvorák's three concert overtures, In Nature's Realm, Carnival, and Othello.
Also available in dual-layer SACD & DVD Formats #WLA-WS-66-SACD / #WLA-WS-66-DVD


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Jon Hassell, Ry Cooder, Jacky Terrasson, Ronu Majumdar — Fascinoma — Ry Cooder summons fourth world trumpeter Jon Hassell, jazz star pianist Jacky Terrasson, and classical Indian flutist Ronu Majumdar, to a big resonant church in Santa Barbara and creates "tone-magic" -- a bath in the sheer beauty of sound expressed in a kind of global, space-age Duke Ellington palette. Music without a price for an audience that can't be bought.
Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-CS-70-SACD


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Also available in dual-layer SACD Format #WLA-ES-71-SACD
Ronu Majumdar, Ry Cooder, Jon Hassell, Abhijit Banarjee — Hollow Bamboo — Ronu is an outstanding flutist of the Hindustani tradition who has previously been featured on recordings with Jon Hassell (Fascinoma, #WLA-CS-70-CD), Simon Shaheen (Saltanah, #WLA-ES-51-CD) and Bela Fleck (Tabula Rasa, #WLA-CS-44-CD). Hollow Bamboo, a collaboration with Ry Cooder on electric guitar and Turkish oud, and Jon Hassell on trumpet, is a mesmerizing blend of Indian folk melodies and electric genre defying compositions.


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Ronu Majumdar, Abhijit Banarjee — Lady Astride the Tiger — On this recording Ronu's mastery of his chosen idiom, that of Hindustani music, is laid bare while his command over his chosen instrument, the Bansuri, is equally obvious. Abhijit Banarjee performs admirably, providing rhythmic accompaniment on the tabla. Rags — Jainjhoti, Bhupali, Durga, and Kashmiri Dhun.

Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence

Water Lily Acoustics is proud to present the legendary orchestras of St Petersburg, Russia, in live concert recordings which capture the excitement and sense of occasion of attending a live performance as no studio recording can. The philosophical and technical ethos of the Water Lily approach to recording is, here, perhaps for the first time, given free rein to produce a musical experience unparalleled in its realism and impact. Forged from the precious metals of the opulent age of the Czars, and tempered in the crucible of Communism, the orchestras of the former Soviet Union occupy a position in world culture that is truly unique. It is a privilege to be the first American record company to have captured the essence of these great orchestras in their native city.

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Yevgeny Svetlanov  Piano Concerto in C minor 
Alexander Skryabin Symphony No. 3St Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Dmitriev, conductor

A virtuoso vehicle in the tradition of Liszt and Rakhmaninov, Svetlanov’s emotionally full-blooded concerto provides the ultimate showcase for internationally renowned pianist Vladimir Ovchinnikov, who has enjoyed a meteoric career since his ground-breaking success in the 1982 Moscow Tchaikovsky Piano Competition. Alternating scintillating showmanship and genuine depth of feeling, this gorgeously seductive work is sure to delight seasoned concertgoers and newcomers alike. The richness and warmth of the Romantic tradition continues in Skryabin’s lush and dramatic Third Symphony, which links the emotionally extrovert world of Tchaikovsky to the renewed sense of spirituality essential to our time. A sonic and musical spectacular in every sense, Maestro Dmitriev and the St Petersburg Symphony wring every last ounce of passion and excitement from these thrilling scores.


Click here to read reviews of this recording.
Also available in the hybrid SACD Format #WLA-WS-75-SACD

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Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 5
St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,
Yuri Temirkanov, conductor

A century after they were written, Mahler’s symphonies remain among the most challenging works in the symphonic repertoire, demanding the highest level of orchestral virtuosity and the utmost interpretive insight from the conductor. Mahler’s spectacular orchestration presents a sonic palette of the utmost diversity, and a range of dynamic - from whispering solos to apocalyptic climaxes - certain to immerse the listener completely in his unique sound-world. Astonishingly, this recording marks the first time that any of Maestro Temirkanov’s critically and publicly lauded Mahler interpretations with the St Petersburg Philharmonic has been available in recorded form. Now, finally, audiences the world over have an opportunity to experience this extraordinary music in the hands of one of its greatest living interpreters.

"Recently I had an opportunity to hear Kavi Alexander's magnificent recording of the Mahler's Symphony number 5 With The St. PetersburgPhilharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. I'd recently auditioned a number of new state-of-the-art SACD players that had been in my possession at the time of receiving this recording. I had always loved and admired the way Temirkanov conducted and I actually was able to see him in live performances in Carnegie hall with the great St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. I heard him conduct a variety of Russian and Slavic classics but I never heard him or imagined that he would be conducting a Mahler symphony.

I have always admired Kavi's Water Lily Acoustics recordings for their sheer musicality and wonderful sound quality, but I was not prepared for what I heard in his latest recording of the Mahler fifth Symphony. The sound of this superb SACD literally made my jaw drop. The amazing harmonic structure of the orchestra shone through this recording with blazing verisimilitude, while the phenomenal dynamic range could be felt in ways similar to the real thing. The breath and depth of the St. Petersburg Orchestra virtually came alive in my living room. This recording, in my judgment, is a milestone of classical recording technique. I've heard many wonderful sounding classical recordings on my collection of 15 in per second second-generation master tapes but this new wonderful recording beats them all sonically.

If you think this is just another hack performance of the Mahler fifth Symphony, think again. Temirkanov's interpretation is magical and truly epic!

I am sure this recording sets a high bar for all future classical recordings."

Arnie Nudell

Click here to read reviews of this recording.
Also available in hybrid-multichannel SACD Format #WLA-WS-76-SACD

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Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 7 'Leningrad'
St Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Dmitriev, conductor

This recording, though brand new, has already acquired an almost unprecedented level of historical significance. This was the orchestra that gave the first performance in the besieged city of Leningrad of Shostakovich’s profoundly moving wartime symphony. Now, sixty years later, they return to the work with which they will always be ineradicably associated in a performance of shattering power and cinematic vividness of imagery. Shostakovich’s musical depiction of the horrors and triumphs of the battlefield have never been equaled, and in this spectacular concert recording the sonic splendor of the composer’s inspiration emerges with devastating impact. Equally remarkable is the synergy between Maestro Dmitriev and the orchestra he has headed for almost thirty years, lending this recording a particular poignancy and authenticity.

All three titles are available online from from the following companies:


Click here to read reviews of this recording.
Also available in hybrid-multichannel SACD Format #WLA-WS-77-SACD

Counterfeit exists because there is such a thing as real gold.
-Jelaluddin Rumi