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The essence of Jayadeva

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Tribute to the Master Nazia Alam and Sumanta Mohanty in performance.
Tribute to the Master Nazia Alam and Sumanta Mohanty in performance.

MANJARI SINHA

Jayadeva’s classical compositions were brought alive through music, dance and paintings the other day.

The Geetagovinda Pratisthana, Puducherry, organised a two day cultural festival to celebrate the launch of “Sampoorna Geetagovinda”, a set of five CDs released by the music company Sa Re Ga Ma at the Stein auditorium of India Habitat Centre this past weekend. The devarpan of “Sampoorna Geetagovinda ” was done by Maharaja Gajpati Divyasingh Deb of Puri, who also launched the website of the Trust and the lokarpana (release) of the CDs was done by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Montek Singh Ahluwalia inaugurated ‘Krishnaya Tubhyam Namah’, an exhibition of traditional pattachitra paintings by Ananta Maharana of Puri, exploring the theme of Gita Govinda.

As the name suggests, “Sampoorna Geetagovinda ” comprises all the 24 songs and the 72 shlokas (Sanskrit verses) connecting these songs of Gita Govinda written by the great Sanskrit poet Jayadeva in the 12th Century. It is a unique and first ever presentation of the complete and unabridged version of this classic for which music has been composed by Dr. Subas Pani, the well known scholar on Jagannath, Jayadeva and Gita Govinda, using the authentic text based on his profound research.

Classical and authentic

The festival that offered a complete feel of Jayadeva’s classic compositions through music, dance and pattachitra paintings presented live vocal renditions of a few selected songs from the released audio album by Nazia Alam and Sumanta Mohanty on both the evenings, accompanied by a group of gifted musicians playing classical and traditional instruments like veena, venu (flute), maddala, khol, manjeera, sitar and violin, that provided the most melodious and authentic aura to the devotional character of the songs. The music by Subas Pani is essentially bhava and rasa-oriented, that places greater emphasis on the rasa-bhava (mood) of the lyric than the technical virtuosity adorning the melody and rhythm. Even the interlude creates the emotional ambience of the next song. The conversational character of the songs is carried out with perfect pronunciation and soulful simplicity.

The music on the inaugural evening opened with Omkaar and mangaldhwani with shankha (conch) and ghanta-vaadya preceding “Meghairmeduram….” set to raga Desh and Malhar to depict the rain and the clouds. Puria Dhanashri came as a comely contrast in Dashaavatara where “Krishnaya tubhyam namah…” is used as the mukhra of the bandish, like “Saras Vasante…” is maintained as a musical refrain or ‘mukhra’ for the Vasanta-Geet. “Rase Harimih…” set to the swaras of raga Bhimpalasi was sung melodiously by Nazia. The songs were rendered with intense emotional involvement as solos as well as duets. The tunefulness and the superb synchronisation of the orchestra, the articulate enunciation of the text by the vocalists (except for the word “sudhayah” in the last shloka, that was mispronounced as “sudhiyah”), vouched for the hard work and the relentless rehearsals that had gone into it to bring out this kind of impeccable production.


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