Made during Satyajit Ray's late '50s creative peak, The Music Room is often overshadowed by the Apu trilogy. A commercial failure, it was released between the second and third films in the series, Aparajito and Apur Sansar, but over the years it has come to be regarded as one of his greatest achievements. The story of a nobleman ruined by hubris and consumed by regret, it exhibits the emotional depth and visual richness that distinguish Ray's best work, and features a performance by Chhabi Biswas in the lead role of Huzur Biswambhar Roy that is nothing less than devastating. (Ray held Biswas in such high regard that after his death in 1962 Ray simply stopped writing roles for middle-aged men.) Biswas' Roy is a portrait of tragic arrogance. Obsessed with throwing lavish concerts in his mansion both to maintain his social status and to indulge in the pleasures of music, he neglects his family until the deaths of his son and wife and the loss of his fortune leave him alone in his decaying mansion with only his guilt, and a single long-suffering servant, to keep him company. It is a mark of Ray's talent as a director and Biswas' skill as an actor that he remains a sympathetic character to the end, when he stages one final concert to show up his crass, upwardly mobile neighbor Mahim Ganguly (Ganga Pada Basu). A single lingering shot of Roy's face as he is transfixed by a musical performance or reflecting on the mistakes of his life says more than any number of pages of dialogue. The concert sequences are stunning in themselves. Ray hired some of the finest musicians in India for the film, and their performances, shown in their entirety, add another layer of richness to one of Ray's best works.