Composer Gesang Martohartono who passed away on May, 20, 2010, was truly a blessed artist as I ever wrote in this blog. His works are not so many, only 44 songs — according to some media but I am still not sure –, but his songs — especially Bengawan Solo was interpretated in many versions and translated to at least 13 non-Indonesian languages.
I collected some of Bengawan Solo versions which interpretated by various artists such as Asiabeat, Anneke Gronloh, Oslan Hussein, Gordon Tobing, Elfa Seciora, Thung Boen Liong and so on. So which is the best? It’s depend on every body. I was personally impressed firstly by Bengawan Solo interpretated by Asiabeat, a world music group. This one is part of Monsoon album (1996). This version is such eclectic east-west isntruments with modern arrangement. For me, it is the best version of Bengawan Solo ever recorded.
But according Rolling Stone Indonesia magazine, Bengawan Solo which was interpretated by Oslan Hussein is the best one. This conclusion is derived from RSI statement that Bengawan Solo-Oslan Hussein is one of 150 best Indonesian songs all time. Off course, every body has his opinion. And may be some people rather like to listen to Gesang version on Bengawan Solo which was recorded on Lokananta LP version. What do you think? *