The two-day music festival had impressive performances

Parveen Begum Smruti Music and Educational Trust had organised a two-day Hindustani Classical music festival at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore recently. The festival was indeed a magnificent musical tribute to the late Ustad Abdul Khadar Khan, Pt. Basavaraj Bendigeri and the late Parveen Begum, wife of the eminent Hindustani classical vocalist and sarangi virtuoso Ustad Faiyaz Khan.

The first session of the festival began with a Hindustani classical vocal music recital by Pandit Venkatesh Kumar with raga Bhimpalasi. The vilambit bandish “Ab to Badi Der Bhayi” in ektal was an unhurried and steady exploration, characterised by an admirable evocation of ‘raagabhaava’. Venkatesh Kumar captured the subtlest modulations of notes, bringing out the raga’s tonal beauty. Venkatesh Kumar was able to highlight the rich fund of melodic promise inherent in the raga. His improvisations in alap — bol taan and layakari sections took on a special colour and the brilliant Sarangi accompaniment by Ustad Sarwar Hussain accentuated the lyrical magic of the rendition. The lilting chota khayal composition in drut teental, “Biraj me dhoom machaye Shyam” was rendered with inimitable élan and had an alluring emotional appeal. Uday Raj Karpur on the tabla energetically supported the dazzling ‘taankari’. The penetrating power and the lingering appeal of Bhimpalasi was such that Venkatesh Kumar chose to render a Purandara Dasa composition “Kaliyugadolo Harinamava nenedare” also in the same raga. The second session of the evening was a mesmerising sarangi jugalbandi recital by Sarwar Hussain and Farooque Latif Khan. They took up the twilight raga Shree known for its meditative solemnity .

The delineation of the vilambit Jhumra composition was marked by impressive ragavistar through alaps expressing the central idea of coupling of komal rishab with pancham. The adept execution of fast taans in the madhyalaya and drut teental compositions, a daunting exercise, was done with aplomb and poise. Nafees Ahmed on the tabla was truly praiseworthy for his spectacular performance. But the piece de resistance of the jugalbandi was an exquisite rendition of a ‘misra bhatiyali dhun’ in Dadra tal, transporting the audience to the sublime heights of aesthetic grandeur and ecstasy. Bansuri recital by Sameer Rao, the disciple of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. Sameer began his recitalwith the customary alap-jod-jhala in the rare Carnatic Raaga Jana Sammohini also known as Shubh Kalyan. Sameer handled the challenges of this difficult raaga with competence and proficiency . Pandit Rajendra Nakod’s vivacious presence and his robust, lightning ‘tihais’ enlivened the ‘gat ‘composition set to rupak tal.

A sarangi solo recital by young Sarfaraaz Khan, the talented son of Ustad Faiyaz Khan established his credentials as a brilliant Sarangi exponent. What was clearly discernible in his captivating rendition of Shyam Kalyan in vilambit and drut teentals was his exemplary commitment and ardent passion for sarangi.

In his vocal recital, the young maestro Arshad Ali Khan, the nephew and disciple of the illustrious vocalist Mashqoor Ali Khan of Kirana Gharana took up the late evening melody raga Puriya Kalyan for a detailed exposition. His sonorous ‘alap’ in ‘merukhand’ style, proceeding to bol- alaps, bol tans and electrifying taankari in the vilambit khayal “Aaj so ban” in ektal and the ‘sargams’ and ‘taans’ of supersonic velocity enunciated with great clarity in the drut teen tal ‘tarana’ composition elicited a lot applause. Arshad Ali Khan was accompanied by Trilochan Kampli a talented tabla artiste and Ustad Sarwar Hussain on the sarangi. The tabla solo by Makarand Tulankar, disciple of Pandit Anindyo Chatterjee was marked by several fascinating features. Tulankar demonstrated the nuances of “Vallari” a complex rhythmic cycle of seven and a half beats which was his own creation. Beginning with scintillating ‘Peshkars’ and ‘Kaydas’, he enthralled the listeners with his speedy ‘relas’ and ‘chakradhars’, showing some creative variations of teental and also demonstrating riveting Paran’ sequences taken from

Pandit Birju Maharaj’s Kathak dance repertoire. The grand climax of the music festival was the much awaited vocal recital by Ustad Faiyaz Khan. His moving rendition of devaranama by Purandara Dasa “Daariya toro mukunda” in raga Charukeshi and the concluding Bhajan “Jo bhaje Hari ko Sada” in Bhairavi exuded a note of intimate appeal and ‘madhura bhakti’ making it a spiritually uplifting experience.