CONCERT Both Shubhada Paradkar and Budhaditya Mukherjee gave memorable performances at the Sapthak festival

The music festival Sangeet Sambhrama held in celebration of the Sapthak’s 7th anniversary’ featured two memorable Hindustani classical vocal and instrumental concerts by Pandita Shubhada Paradkar and Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee respectively.

Shubhada Paradkar commenced her recital with the beautiful, plaintive evening Raga Poorvi, a vespertine melody belonging to Poorvi that. The traditional vilambit khayal composition “Mai to na javu” set to ektal, a rhythmic cycle of 12 beats was embellished with intricate ‘alap’ and ‘bol-alap’ sequences. In her meticulous mode of melodic development, the vocalist explored the contours of this raga in the most nuanced manner, aptly employing select phrases of the composition for elaboration and improvisation, creating melodic patterns and musical designs within the framework of rhythm. She displayed her virtuosity in the complex configurations of ‘phirat taans’ and commendable idiosyncratic touches of ‘layakari’ in the delineation of vilambit and drut teental compositions.

The chota khayal bandish “Eri moso sab sukh dino” was invested with exquisite lyrical appeal and ‘raga-bhava’. After a laudatory exposition of the cardinal features of khayal gayaki in raga Poorvi, Paradkar took up Kamod, a difficult raga for her next rendition. She was able to capture the spirit and gestalt of this complex raga in her improvisations, emphasising the not so easily accessible rich and fertile tonal spaces for elaboration in this raga. In her rendition of the madhyalaya composition “Samjhat Nahi” in jhaptal, a rhythmic cycle of 10 beats and the lilting drut teental composition, “Jane na doongi apne balam ko”, Shubhada Paradkar showed her mastery over ‘sargam taans’, effortlessly creating melodic patterns around the ‘vadi’ and ‘samvadi’ notes of pancham and rishabh. She handled the challenge of traversing through the zig-zagging contours while executing quick ‘taans’ with finesse. Pandit Vyasmurthy Katti on the harmonium enthralled the listeners by revealing the myriad melodic possibilities of the raga with extraordinary skill, aplomb and precision. Uday Raj Karpur’s tabla accompaniment enhanced the chiselled ‘taankari’. Shubhada Paradkar concluded her concert with a tappa in Mishra Kafi which was followed by a scintillating tarana, a highly stylised masterpiece in the same raga.

The much awaited event of the evening was the magnificent sitar recital by Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee of Imdadkhani gharana, undoubtedly one of the finest sitarists of our times. Budhaditya Mukherjee, a great exponent of the ‘gayaki ang’ in all its polychromatic lustre and brilliance chose to begin his recital with raga Yaman-Kalyan. In the slow paced vilambit gat composition set to teental, a rhythmic cycle of 16 beats, Mukherjee attempted a note by note delineation of this raga, investing the ‘alap’ section with the lovely tonality of his engrossing style, marked by astoundingly precise and poignant ‘gamaks’ and ‘meends’ so richly evocative in the ‘masitkhani gat’. An outstanding artiste par excellence, Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee mesmerised the audience with his immaculate badhath of the raga. In his exemplary execution of an incredible variety and range of taans in the faster moving drut teental composition, Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee, along with the tabla wizard Pandit Ravindra Yawagal, had an electrifying appeal. The euphonious rendition of dhun, a folk piece in raga Misra Kafi in teental, was marked by remarkable improvisations of this rhythmic cycle by Ravindra Yawagal demonstrating an awe-inspiring sense of rhythmic prowess, clarity and velocity. In his concluding piece in raga Bhairavi, Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee captured the hearts of his listeners with the exquisite lyricism of his raagvistar. Exploring every shade of emotion in this delicately romantic raga with consummate artistry and poise, Pandit Mukherjee made it an intense and unforgettable experience for the connoisseurs of Hindustani classical music.