Echoing the arching animosity between the court musician Salieri and his
protegee Mozart, ‘Baiju Bawra’ seems sharply evocative of the classical heritage
that was lost in the quest of popular element in the mainstream cinema. Director
Vijay Bhatt made another film on the same theme, ‘Goonj (1952) Uthi Shehnai’, featuring
the music of Ustad Bismillah Khan. Both ‘Baiju Bawra’ and ‘Goonj (1952) Uthi Shehnai’
were major hits, and are seen today by some critics as the true precursors of K.
Vishwanath’s exposition on classicism in ‘Sur Sangam’ and ‘Jaag Utha Insaan’.
The film’s highlight is the classical jugalbandi between the two renowned raga
maestros Ustad Amir Khan and Pandit D.V. Paluskar, who sang the climactic song
under Naushad’s able supervision, for Tansen and Baiju, respectively.