A musician living on the banks of the Ganges and another living in Singara Chennai came together on one stage to create music so divine that it struck a chord in every listener. 'Adrishta', the opening concert ofThe Hindu Friday Review November Fest was special in more ways than one.

It was first performed at the Theatre de la Ville in Paris to a great response. This time round too, internationally renowned Ganesh Rajagopalan of the Ganesh-Kumaresh violin duo and the Grammy-nominated Debashish Bhattacharya, the accompanying musicians and a wonderful audience made it an evening to remember.

An enthusiastic audience started trickling in from about 6.45 p.m. Hopes were high, because the Fest had set a wonderful precedent last year. The audience was eclectic, but one thing that united them was the desire to listen to new music.

For industrialist Rajini Varadaraj, who has promoted arts in Coimbatore, this is her first experience at the November Fest. “I was not around the last time. I see there is a nice mix of genres and I'll attend the concerts with an open mind. I'm looking forward to having a good time,” she said.

And, Ganesh and Debashish lived up to all the hype. They started off with a wonderful piece specially created for the festival, in Mohana Kalyani. It was a musical conversation between the slide guitar and the violin, with Ganesh and Debashish merely acting as translators.

The camaraderie on stage was infectious. Smiles abounded, and it was clear they were having a great time transporting the audience to a land steeped in music.

Many a time, Debashish stayed grounded, only to happily let Ganesh soar. At others, Ganesh stepped back to allow his friend to take centre stage.

And the accompanying musicians – Patri Satish Kumar on the mridangam, Trichy Krishna on the ghatam and Abhijit Banerjee on the tabla – turned fans, applauding each time the duo touched a crescendo or explored the very depths of a raga.

The flourishes were many, and how the instruments yielded. Ganesh got the violin to plead and cajole, while Debashish's emotion-filled notes stirred the senses.

The second piece the duo played was a Hindustani composition in Madhyamavati/Megh in Jhaap taal.

The main raga they explored was Charukesi. This was followed by a wonderful percussion interlude and a coming together of the slide guitar and the violin.

The concluding piece was Tamboori Meetidava set to the raga Sindhu Bhairavi. And yes, did we mention three percussionists? Make that four. The frequent applause from the audience!

The sponsors forThe HinduFriday Review November Fest are Bose, Hirco, Colgate, United India Insurance, Nestle Sunrise, Tata Indigo Manza, Elgi Ultra Industries, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, CNN IBN, Le Meridien, Brookefields Mall and Radio City.

The event is managed by Show Space. For details, call: 98414 16933.


A perfect blendNovember 23, 2011

When Carnatic met HindustaniNovember 28, 2011