Music

Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Sangeet Samaroh: Of piety and practice

In tune with the theme: Vidushi Padma Talwalkar

In tune with the theme: Vidushi Padma Talwalkar  

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Known for its judicious selection of artistes, the Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Sangeet Samaroh saw a melodious mingling of ragas

The Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Sangeet Samaroh, organised by Gandharva Mahavidyalaya (GMV) and Saraswati Samaj, featured a number of senior and young artistes at Kamani auditorium this past weekend. The festival is known for music as an act of homage, judicious selection of musicians, aesthetic décor and an overall piety of the occasion with each session opening dot on time with bhajans sung by the students of the GMV exquisitely in tune.

The Jayanti Samaroh this year reached its climax with the veteran vocalist Vidushi Padma Talwalkar offering a befitting musical tribute to the saint musician Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. “I am blessed to be singing for him, because it’s only due to him that I, or many women artistes like me, are performing on stage, who otherwise would be singing only in the confines of their homes,” she said.

Best of traditions

Initiated into music at a tender age by her grandfather Kane Bua, a distinguished keertan-kar, Talwalkar became the disciple of Gangadhar Bua Pimpalkar imbibing best of Gwalior and Kirana traditions from Mogubai Kurdikar, the doyen of Jaipur Gayaki and Gajanan Bua Joshi, an acknowledged maestro of Gwalior, Jaipur and Agra gharanas. Groomed under such greats, she evolved into a mature musician acquiring the principle characteristics of all these gharanas and picking up what suited her voice and temperament best, to bring forth her creativity.

Opening with a rich alaap in raga Darbari Kanhada, she first underlined the specific Ati Komal Andolit (oscillating) Gandhar of Darbari, then going down to the mandra saptak, rested on the mandra dhaivat before reaching the shadja; making the raga come into being through her very first statement. The longish alaap was not just a short auchar, but it etched the raga-roop in detail; before she opened the famous bandish, “Anokha Ladla, khelan ko mange Chaand….” set to addha theka of Teen-tala. She gave a melodious surprise to the discerning audience by giving this madhya laya composition the detailed treatment of a vilambit bada khayal with a leisurely, gradual progression of swaras elaborating the raga properly through badhat and behlawa.

The sthayee was delineated with specific nuances of the raga in aadha theka before she switched over to proper Teentala for the ‘Laya ka kaam’, progressing to variety of taans. No wonder her Darbari had a much pleasant appeal as compared to the terse treatment of the raga one normally comes across.

Kamod, rarely heard these days, was a comely contrast after the serious nature of Darbari. Two popular traditional compositions “Kare jaane na doongi eri Mai…” and “Chhand de mora Aanchal…” set to medium and fast tempo of Teen-Tala respectively, were dealt vibrantly before she concluded with a Bandishi Thumri in Bhairavi. Padma Ji was ably accompanied on Harmonium by Dr. Vinay Mishra and on Tabla by Mayank Bedekar. The remarkable Vocal support by her disciple Ritika, did her Guru Proud.

Earlier, Sudeep Chattopadhyay accompanied on tabla by Vinod Lele, played a melodious Miyan Malhar on flute and treated it imaginatively with complementing swara sequences in different octaves creating a sonorous ‘samvad’. The thoughtful use of the Moti Bansuri for alaap in mandra saptak brought out the desired tonal variations.

Treating the raga in vocalised idiom, the gayaki ang, he played a bada khayal composition set to vilambit Ek-tala in great detail. The drut composition was played in raga Desh in tantrakari ang, culminating into the fast speed jhala in Teentala. Sudeep concluded his recital with a popular dadra. The romantic flavour of Purab Ang gayaki in the lilting gait of Dadra Tala was maintained even in laggi by Vinod Lele, without compromising to Kaherwa.

Pratik Shrivastava

Pratik Shrivastava  

The Samaroh took an assuring start with the impressive sarod recital by Pratik Srivastava, the youngest Sarodia of Maihar Gharana. Coming from a musical family, Pratik is presently being groomed under Pt. Ajay Chakraborty and Pt. Tejendra Narayan Majumdar.

Assured of his concert level capability, Pratik chose the sombre evening raga Shree and played the alap-jod jhala displaying the kind of restraint that belied his age. The masitkhani (slow tempo) and a drut gat in Teentala also underlined his distinctive touch and command over his instrument. He concluded his recital with a melodious dhun in Mishra Maand. Babar Lateef provided sensitive support on tabla. The other half of the inaugural evening was devoted to Carnatic classical represented by a vocal recital by the Akkarai sisters.

Aditya Khandave, a brilliant disciple of Pt. Ratnakar Pai, Vidushi Dhondutai Kulkarni, Pt. Gajanan Bua Joshi and Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, surprisingly opened the second evening with the same raga, Shree. There is no doubt about his ideal grooming and diligent riyaaz, but one missed the restrain and depth this serene raga demanded. Aditya presented beautiful bandishes in slow Tilwada and the medium tempo Teentala composed by Pt. Vinay Chandra Maudgalya and a drut Teentala Tarana of Pt. Babanrao Haldankar in this raga. Aditya’s riveting rendition of Gaud Malhar matched the nature of the raga.

Purbayan Chatterjee chose Gunji-kauns, a melodious mingling of ragas Malgunji and Malkauns; for his main raga and gave it a befitting treatment with a sur-filled alaap-jod jhala and gat composition set to Matt Tala of nine-beat time cycle. This was followed by Ramdasi Malhar and a drut gat in Mishra Kirwani by Pt. Nikhil Bannerjee where one could have a glimpse of his experimental nature in the minor chords of Western Music. Shubh Maharaj on tabla, calculated perfectly each and every complication of rhythm and responded perfectly.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:12:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/of-piety-and-practice/article29109071.ece

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